I’m not exactly a cocktail girl, but if there’s ice and citrus involved, I won’t think twice before accepting a drink! I organize parties on my terrace every week and, as temperatures rise like crazy in August, I have to be prepared with something special to cool everyone off and keep their spirits high. This time I chose to reinvent a classic, adding fresh cucumber and basil to make a special (and especially refreshing) daiquiri.
Traditional daiquiri recipes contain only sugar, ice, lime and rum. I like to play with new flavor combinations, and after a few experiments, I found this very interesting one. Basil and cucumber are everywhere in the summertime, and white rum has a mild flavor that doesn’t compete with the produce and helps keep the calories in check. A homemade basil syrup with agave nectar adds even more flavor with minimal calories and sugar.
The recipe for the basil-infused agave syrup is very basic. You can keep this syrup in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks and use it in lemonades or other cocktail recipes. Its fragrant flavor adds an interesting twist to any summer drink.
- 1 cup water
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- 3 medium cucumbers, with skin
- Freshly squeezed juice from 3 limes
- 4 tsp sugar-free basil syrup (see above)
- 6 ounces white rum
- Ice cubes, lime slices and fresh basil leaves, to serve
- Mix all ingredients and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Cool, strain and store in the fridge for up to three weeks.
- Wash the cucumbers thoroughly, cut into slices and add them in the blender along with the lime juice.
- Process to obtain a gorgeous green liquid. Strain.
- Add the liquid in a cocktail shaker, together with the white rum and some ice cubes.
- Shake well to combine
- Fill the serving glasses with fresh ice cubes, then strain the daiquiri mixture into glasses.
- Add one teaspoon of basil syrup to each serving glass.
- Garnish with lime slices and fresh basil leaves, and serve immediately.