Cooking With Confidence
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The Drink, Vegetarian

The Rickshaw

by Nick

Sometimes I really miss my previous life as a bartender.  There’s something really fun about creating a delicious beverage.

In fact, if you like to entertain, one of the best things you can do is have a few awesome cocktails in your back pocket that you can easily prepare.

This is a perfect cocktail for the beginning mixologist.  The ingredients are simple and the flavors are awesome.  It would be a perfect cocktail for the upcoming spring.  I can imagine sitting out on a porch or something and just drinking pitchers of this stuff.

Yield
1 cocktail
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe The Rickshaw

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce basil simple syrup
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • Cucumber slices (garnish)
  • Basil leaves (garnish)
  • Basil Simple Syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil

Helpful Equipment

Directions

For basil syrup:
1) Combine ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a slight simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar.

2) Simmer for 2 minutes. Kill the heat and let sit until cool.

3) Strain and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

For cocktail:
1) Add ice to a small cocktail glass.

2) Combine gin, basil syrup, and fresh squeezed lime juice in a shaker with lots of ice and shake for 20-30 seconds until very chilled.

3) Strain into fresh ice and garnish with cucumber slices and small basil leaves.

Recipe from MixShakeStir.

Basil Syrup

There’s really only three ingredients for this cocktail, but the key is the simple syrup.

If there’s one tip I could give people that want to get into cocktail making, it’s not to spend a lot of money on booze.  Just learn how to make good syrups.  Once you learn how to infuse flavors into syrups, you can make wonderful drinks that you would pay a lot for in a bar or restaurant.

This syrup is about as easy as simple syrup gets.  Just add equal parts sugar and water to a small pot and toss in a lot of fresh basil.  I don’t even measure it actually.  I just toss in a large handful.

syrup

Sugar. Water. Basil.

Bring this to a simmer over medium heat and stir it regularly to melt the sugar.  Once it has simmered for a few minutes and the basil leaves have wilted, it’s done.

Kill the heat and let it slowly cool down to room temperature.  This will give it plenty of time to absorb some of that basil flavor.

cooked

Pretty easy to make.

Then just strain it to remove the basil leaves and you’ll be left with this delicious basil syrup.

I was shocked at how much flavor this syrup took on.  It was like pesto in a jar!  The stuff will keep fine for 2-3 weeks in the fridge if you keep it in an airtight container.

strained

Delicious stuff.

Making the Cocktail

There’s really only three ingredients to this drink.  Besides the basil syrup, it’s just gin and lime juice.

There’s no need to use a super-expensive gin for this.  A medium-priced one will do the trick.  Just make sure it’s in a glass bottle…

For the lime juice, be sure to use fresh squeezed juice.  The recipe calls for one ounce of juice which is about 1 small lime.

ingredients

Pretty simple!

While you can kind of eyeball the measurements for this cocktail (2 parts gin – 1 part syrup – 1 part lime), I always recommend measuring cocktails.  The flavors are a nice balance and too much of one thing can really throw off the drink.

So if you are planning on making cocktails a lot, it’s a good idea to pick up a jigger for measuring liquids.

lime

Fresh lime juice is important.

One of my favorite parts of making cocktails is coming up with fun garnishes for the cocktails.

Any time I’m making a drink with gin, I always like to garnish it with cucumber.  I just slice them very thin and line the glass with them.

Since there’s basil in the drink, I also picked out some very tiny basil leaves to throw in the cocktail.

garnish

Gotta have a good garnish.

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake shake shake!

Shake it for a good 20 seconds to make sure the drink is really chilled and don’t skimp on the ice!

shake

Shake it up!

Then strain the drink into your glass with fresh ice in it.

pour

Action shot!

If you want to get super-fancy or do something different, you can also kind of stick the cucumbers to the inside of the glass so they press against it.

I like this look a lot!

option

Pretty drink.

The cool thing about this drink is that it’s easy enough to make a large pitcher of it.  Then people could just pour their own!

This drink was super-refreshing.  If you don’t make it now, definitely bookmark it and try it in the spring.

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16 comments on “The Rickshaw

  1. As a former bartender, do you know of a drink that’s like a Shirley Temple, but with booze in it? I used to love ordering Shirley Temples as a kid, and I feel like a grown-up version has potential to be quite tasty!

  2. I learned of this in Boulder…the Chop House. They serve it martini style. I am addicted. But the reason for my comment is the gin….Peach Street Distillers!!! They make a killer bloody mary. Do you live in Palisade?

  3. Hey Nick! I think your blog is amazing and in the ~24 hours that I’ve been exposed to it, I have already bookmarked about 30 recipes that I want to try. This is the first one that I attempted, and it was DELICIOUS! My roommate and I loved them – we are big gin fans. We also added a splash of tonic, which was a tiny improvement to the already wonderful drink. Thanks for all you do!

    1. Hey Sarah! Thanks for swinging by and checking out the site and trying out this cocktail. I still make it regularly.. especially during the summer. :)

      Cheers! Nick

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