I have to confess that I am a pretty big whimp when it comes to high alcohol spirits. Try as I might, all I get from a shot or a sip of whiskey, tequila, or rum is a massive burn with no flavor. So this has pretty much ruled out martinis as a cocktail for me.
Until the other night when my friend Laura and I went to Savannah Grille at Lake of the Ozarks. Laura doesn’t share my lack of passion for liquor, and she enthusiastically picked out a specialty martini called a lemon basil gimlet. I tried one along with her, and lo and behold, I loved it!
The gimlet was refreshing, with layers of flavor, and only a little burn. It was definitely sweet, but the acidity in the lemon and lime offset the sweetness nicely. I immediately began brainstorming how I could mimic this gimlet using wine so I could enjoy all the favor and get rid of the burning throat. After a few trials yesterday, I came up with a pretty darn close approximation to what I’d enjoyed at the restaurant.
I’ll be serving our Lemon Basil Wine Gimlet this weekend during our August wine cocktail series, but I thought I’d also share the recipe with you here, just in case you would like to try one at home. I used our Courtois to make this wine gimlet, but you could also use Whittenburg, just skip adding the sugar during the muddling.
If you make this, let me know in the comments what you think of it. And if you want to skip the work, just swing by the tasting room on Saturday or Sunday. I’ll make one up for you while you relax on the porch! Cheers!
Lemon Basil Wine Gimlet
Author: Peaceful Bend Vineyard
Recipe type: beverage
- 4 slices cucumber, green peels removed
- 1 large leaf fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 1 dash lemon juice
- 1 dash lime juice
- 1 tsp sugar
- 6-8 ounces Courtois, chilled
- In a cocktail shaker, or large glass, muddle cucumber, basil, lemon juice, lime juice, and sugar.
- Add wine and stir or shake to mix everything together.
- Rim a wine glass with sugar (optional)
- Strain into the wine glass.
- Garnish with a slice of cucumber and thin slices of cucumber peel.
We use our Courtois wine, which a very dry, light white wine with a good base of acidity. The sugar helps to balance this drink, so use less if you reach for a sweet wine instead of the Courtois.