When I stopped in at the Sapphire Hotel
on Hawthorne recently I knew I’d encounter some amazing specialty cocktails. What I didn’t expect to discover was something as uniquely delicious as their “Retrosex” cocktail, created with Gin
, St. Germain
Elderflower liqueur, Grapefruit
and a Basil tincture
A tincture is basically the essence of something, a very strong concentration, so adding the basil tincture to this cocktail made it the main flavor component.
Prior to this, the only time I had basil was on pizza, so I have a strong flavor association between fresh basil and tomato. My first sip of The Retrosex was nearly like drinking marinara sauce!
Now, I know that sounds pretty bizarre, but as my hands warmed up the glass and the ice melted to cut the strength of the cocktail, it became like drinking a liquid garden
. I realized at that moment I was hooked on herb infused drinks!
At the McMenamins High Street Brewery
and Cafe in Eugene, OR I had a sweet iced tea
cocktail with muddled mint
and fresh raspberries
. I’ve never been a fan of mojitos so this was a nice alternative, and it inspired me to find more drink recipes online.
For an easy at-home version of the Sapphire's "Retrosex" you can try this Basil-Gimlet recipe
from the New York Times. Or for a tradition mint option you may want this Southern Mint Julep
from DrinksMixer.comWould you consider adding herbs to your cocktails? What alcohol might you pair with Sage, Tarragon, or Rosemary?
Image Source 1