honey basil whiskey sour

honey basil whiskey sour

Have I told about our 64 basil plants yet? I think that story got lost in the shuffle. Let me start by saying we don’t really have a yard— it’s more of a concrete slab and a clay hillside that runs down into a canyon. There’s a lot of sun, but that’s about the only gardening advantage.

We were warned about rodents, coyotes, and bugs. Our dog, Tawny Port, is an avid pea shoot eater, and I have a really bad track record with gardens.

I’ve long had fantasies of growing rows and rows of pickling cucumbers, roma tomatoes for slow roasting, little gem lettuce, baby russian kale, watermelon radishes, english peas, those beautiful white grey pumpkins — you get the picture. But after about six failed gardening attempts, I’ve finally recognized I just don’t currently have the margin in my life to stick with it. After the initial thrill of picking out seeds and dreaming of the upcoming bounty, life happens, the patch gets abandoned, and the two bell peppers I’m able to scrounge for wind up costing ~$95 each (plus a lot of guilt for not following through).

So I was extremely wary when my husband, with a freshly torn achilles, said he wanted to start a garden.

But this was our first time attempting one together, and it gave him something to focus on while he was bed bound, so I went with it. My only request was a lot of herbs (that and no responsibility, obviously) because there’s nothing more annoying than buying an expensive package of herbs and watching it wilt away in the depths of the produce drawer. I figured we could start small, conquer the herb garden, and then eventually graduate to heirloom tomatoes and gourds.

And boy did he deliver— especially with the basil. We have four separate plots of it, each thriving and trying their best to go to seed. To keep up with all of it, we’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with summery cocktails (in addition to salads, pestos, and shrubs).

This basil whiskey sour has been our favorite thus far— its super fragrant, boozy and lemony, with a sweet hit of anise honey syrup to round it all out.

So far we've made more of a dent in the whiskey bottles than the basil plants, but that’s beside the point. A bountiful garden is totally doable if you recruit your husband.

note on the honey basil whiskey sour:

  • this is not as acidic as your average whiskey sour, the lemon juice only comes from muddling the lemon wheels. if you want it more tart, add a squeeze or two of lemon juice to taste

  • in a pinch, you can mix 1 1/2 tsp honey + 1 1/2 tsp hot tap water instead of making a the anise honey simple syrup. Just pour it in the shaker with the rest of the ingredients!

honey basil whiskey sour

anise honey basil whiskey sour

makes 1 drink, and about 6 oz simple syrup


anise honey simple syrup

honey basil whiskey sour

  • 2 lemon slices, 1/4 inch thick, plus more for garnish

  • 3-4 large basil leaves, plus more for garnish

  • ¾ oz anise honey simple syrup (recipe above)

  • 2 ounces bourbon whiskey

  • 2 dashes orange bitters


anise honey simple syrup

  1. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil then turn off heat and add anise seeds. Steep for 15 minutes, then strain out seeds and discard. Add honey to anise water and stir until dissolved. Store syrup in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

honey basil whiskey sour

  1. In a shaker, muddle lemon slices and basil to release juices and oils. Add anise honey simple syrup, whiskey and bitters. Add a handful of ice cubes to the shaker and shake until chilled.

  2. Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice and strain the mixture over top. Garnish with a basil leaf and lemon slice.

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