Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Opal Basil Gimlet

 I've had a major obsession with Basil for years now, and have tried to put it in pretty much everything edible.  Yogurt, Ice Cream (which is delicious), and of course spirit.  I tried a few failed attempts at making Basil Liqueur, which always ended badly and went down the drain.

Basil Gin was the first infusion I made with the Sous Vide, following the recipe from The Cocktail Lab by Tony Conigliaro, but of course I grabbed the gorgeous Opal Basil at the market!  It's quite simple: wash  basil, put basil in sous vide bag, add gin, squeeze out air, seal bag, throw in sous vide, strain.  Presto!  Basil Gin!

The gin picks up a yellowish green tint from the Basil, and if you're really hard core you'd throw that in a centrifuge to get all of the chlorophyll particles out of your spirit.  I'm still working on getting a centrifuge, so my Basil Gin stays green. 

Gimlets have become one of my favorite cocktails, mostly because when I get together with my girlfriends from architecture school we without fail start the evening off with gimlets.  The are one of those drinks that is a "happy place" for me.  If you use high quality, fresh ingredients, Gimlets are delicious: fresh, piquant, and just the right amount of boozy kick.

The Opal Basil Gin does very well in a Gimlet, the basil giving it just another layer of herbaceous flavor, and the fresh lime adding the citrus-y zip. Garnish with a clipping of the top of the basil plant, right where it begins to blossom, adding more of that sweet basil aroma to the cocktail. 


Opal Basil Gimlet
Created by Gastronomista

2 oz Opal Basil Gin
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice

Opal Basil to Garnish

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a fresh clipping of Opal Basil.

Opal Basil Gin

2 g Fresh Opal Basil (around 10-15 leaves)
2 c Gin

Add ingredients to the vacuum bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and seal.
Place in Sous Vide at 125 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour.
Strain with Cheese Cloth, and store in a non-reactive container.  (I like glass flip-top bottles).

Equipment: Sous Vide Supreme, vacuum sealer, & vacuum pouches.  Glass bottles for storing.

Pro Tip:
Use the seal function only, do not use the vacuum function when preparing liquids.

Basil Gin recipe modified from The Cocktail Lab by Tony Conigliaro

-This post is part of a series for Sous Vide Supreme-


  1. That is not a gimlet.

    Please learn how to make the drink before showing off your fancy sous-vide infusions. Or, make your own cordial - it's easy!

  2. @gimletman - There are many different modifications to the Gimlet (, some of which use Rose's sweetened lime juice, and some use homemade lime cordials. Some don't use cordial at all. I like to use fresh lime juice over bottled lime products, but that is my preference.

    This is a variation that uses basil as a flavor modifier, and the Sous Vide is a process that allows for the infusion process to take place and eliminates the bitterness from the oxidization of the Basil.

  3. Sarah|PickledCapersApril 16, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Sounds perfect for an afternoon on the porch swing. Where did you get those beautiful coupes?

  4. @Sarah|PickledCapers Etsy! Great vintage finds for not so bad prices (if you shop around)! Cheers!

  5. Danguole LekaviciuteApril 17, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Real lime for life. Love the drink, love your response--cheers! ;)

  6. Thanks @Danguole Lekaviciute ! Thank you for the positive comments!! Love 10th Kitchen, BTW, keep up the awesome work! xxG

  7. I think you're misunderstanding the drink altogether. The preserved lime uses the zest of the fruit, as well as the juice, which gives it an entirely different flavour profile than fresh squeezed lime can.
    I'll be the first to admit that Rose's isn't perfect, but it's also not 'sweetened lime juice' - there's a little more to it than that.
    It's kind of like saying you can make a Breakfast Martini with fresh muddled oranges in place of marmalade. I'm sure there are people that swear that 'fresh is always better', but that just means they want what is essentially a gin daiquiri.

    To each their own, but until you've tried it with a home-made cordial, please don't claim that fresh is the only way to go.

  8. @gimletman - please see my above response "There are many modifications to the Gimlet...". Gastronomista never claims to be "gospel" as far as cocktail classics go, if anything I like to celebrate creative modifications on the classics.

    I appreciate that you are so ardent about the discipline of your gimlets, and I look forward to trying one of yours, lime cordial included.


  9. Have you tried St. George Spirits Aqua Perfecta Basil Eau de Vie? It's so delicious, especially when mixed with gin and Cocchi Americano. It's like a basil martini.

  10. @Jessica - I have not tried the Basil Eau de Vide, but I imagine it is quite lovely! I recently visited St. George and was really impressed with what they are doing out there. They are a fantastic craft distillery that is doing some delicious innovations!

    I will have to try it with gin and the cocchi americano! Sounds amazing!



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