Pimms Lemon Basil Cocktail
Now this is a cocktail with a story. It was supposed to be Elderberry Lemon Basil cocktail. As I had a whole bottle of elderberry syrup I was intent on trying it in different mixtures. Unfortunately, halfway through preparation I found that the syrup went off and I had to find another ingredient to replace it. Although it’s called a berry, elderberry has a distinctive savoury note in it, and I think it was the intention of the recipe author to emphasise that note by adding basil leaves to the mixture. Very different in taste, but in the same savoury ballpark, Pimms No. 1 proved to be a worthy replacement.
The recipe also called for 1.5 oz of moscato. This is what I never understood – using wine as a supplementary component in cocktails. If one uses a good wine then all its subtlety will be lost. And even if all one wants is a generic wine taste, one still needs to make wine the main ingredient like in Glühwein or champagne cocktails. Luckily I had a great alternative – French muscat-based liqueur Pavan – which wouldn’t be easily intimidated by other components.
And finally, the choice of gin. It was the base ingredient in this cocktail and to continue its specific theme I used the savoury version of Philip Moore’s Vintage Dry Gin that I bought 2 or 3 years ago.
The resulting cocktail – Pimms Lemon Basil – was so flavoursome that it attracted girls (ok, just one) from the two-metres’ distance. It’s a shame hardly anyone else can taste it as some time ago Philip has replaced his savoury gin with a more fruity variety.