It's been cool and wet, not basil-friendly weather. Much of it has dampened off and died, but some has survived. I'll be re-planting this weekend, then praying for summer to finally arrive. Meanwhile, I found the coolest basil recipe: Basilcello. This will be a basil must-do this summer, right alongside my Green Goddess salad dressing (see this blog's earlier posts for the dressing recipe), and of course, simple-but-perfect mozz/tomato/basil salad.

Basilcello (Basil Liqueur)

20 basil leaves
500ml of 95% grain alcohol (190 proof)
600g white sugar
600ml water

  1. Clean the basil leaves by wiping them gently with a damp paper towel. Do not wet or immerse the leaves as they can lose some of their oils and will start to blacken.
  2. Put the leaves and the grain alcohol together in a (preferably glass) bottle and close it tightly. Leave it to infuse for 15-20 days, mixing/turning it over 2-3 times a day. The liquid will start to get green immediately.
  3. After this time passes, bring the water to a boil in a pan, add the sugar and mix it until dissolved, but take the mixture off the heat before it comes to a boil. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
  4. Add the syrup to the basil alcohol and mix well, then filter out the basil leaves and other pieces. Close the mixture in a glass bottle, leaving it in a dark place for another 20 days.
  5. Serve the liquid as cold as possible, and store (for ready-serving) in the freezer or refrigerator. Before pouring, shake the bottle to make sure it’s fully mixed.

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