plus 1 teaspoon for cucumber juice
plus 4 leaves for cocktail
ends trimmed and roughly chopped
For the Basil Simple Syrup: Whisk together 3/4 cup of water with 2/3 cups of sugar or honey in a small saucepan then place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, add the 2 cups of basi leavesl, and set aside at room temperature to cool, at least 30 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh sieve, discard basil, then cover simple syrup, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.
Simple syrup be made up to 1 month ahead. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.
For the cucumber juice: Combine cucumber, 1/4 ounce of the lime juice, and 1 teaspoon of sugar or honey in a mini food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a mesh sieve, pushing on the back to extract juices (you should have about 1/2 cup).
Juice be made up to 4 days ahead. Store refrigerated in an airtight container and shake before using.
For the cocktail: Reserve one basil leaf for garnish then place remaining three basil leaves in a shaker and bruise a few times with a muddler. Add 3/4 ounce cucumber juice, 3/4 ounce Basil Simple Syrup, remaining 1/4 ounce lime juice and add ice. Shake until chilled then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Smack reserved basil leaf between your hands over the glass (to release essential oils) then float on the cocktail’s surface and serve.
Food styling by Aida Mollenkamp // Photography by Christopher Kalima