May 23, 2012


As soon as the weather started warming up, I bought myself a bottle of Hendrick's gin. It just screams (yeah, it's probably the only gin on the market capable of screaming) summer to me. I love the added cucumber and rose essence, and to be honest, I've completely fallen prey to it's unique branding and impeccable design.

I've started making these cocktails for myself when I get home from work. In my head, I refer to them as "Strawberry-Basil Smash," because, well, there's smashing involved, and by the time I get home from work, I'm done being clever for the day.

The strawberries are from the Durham Farmer's Market. They're so perfectly ripe and sweet that they don't really require any sugar/simple syrup to get them going. I just lightly muddle (I like my drinks chunky) one or two with a few basil leaves. (These are "Massive basil," from a seedling I also bought at the Farmer's Market, to tide me over until my sweet basil starts to mature. And then I'll have entirely too much basil. So. Get ready for that.) Sometimes I add a lime wedge, if I have it. Then in goes a shot of Hendrick's, a big ice cube, and I top it off with a hefty splash of tonic. Voila.

This drink is best enjoyed while walking around Englewood Gardens and surveying the estate, or on the front porch, watching a ridiculously well-mannered North Carolina storm roll in. Cheers.