Topless Gardening


Yeah, that headline caught my eye, too. Turns out that’s only what you’ll WANT to do after you imbibe a basil martini, according to the San Diego Union-Trib‘s cocktail writer. This is one of those summer drinks that we can only dream of as the wind howls through the rafters. So, in honor of it almost being Friday, dream away:

Muddle sugar and fresh basil
"Bathe in vodka and sweet-and-sour mix"–no proportions given.  Figure it out.  I’d go heavy on the vodka.
Squirt of lime.

That’s nice, but there are other options.  Cocktail Times lists any number of herb martinis–ever floated a sprig of rosemary or cilantro in that glass?  They leave out lavender, which is suprisingly good in a cold gin martini. 

But my favorite summer cocktail is an adaptation of something I had in a bar once that we’ve since come to call Amy’s Garden Party.  Crush some fresh basil in the bottom of a tall, skinny glass, add ice clubs and slices of fresh jalapeno, and pour a gin and tonic on top of it.  The perfect drink on a hot day.

Now all we need is a hot day.


  1. Hmph. Basil Mojito, all the way, baby. It uses basil simple syrup, not sour mix. Once you’ve had one, you can’t go back to the mint kind.

  2. I hope the bartenders at the upcoming S.F. Garden show are reading this blog or at the very least reading the Cocktail Times.
    For the opening night party at the show this year they are having an open martini bar.

    I’ll bring some basil just in case, cuz it wouldn’t be nice to pluck a bunch out of someone’s display garden.

    Edible garden duhsigners beware !

  3. MMMMmmmmm! I am dreaming of cocktail glasses and herb drinks thanks to all of you! It is five degrees here in RI this a.m. Unheard of in Feb. or is it March yet!

  4. Ooh, this sounds GOOD. I always grow basil for my husband’s pesto addiction, but since i don’t care for pesto, this gives me a great alternative!

    Just wondering, has anyone ever tried using lavender in a martini? Not that I have, just wondering…

    great blog!!! I’m just discovering the world of garden bloggers.

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