If you want to be extra fancy, you can make half juice-half water ice cubes with lime slices frozen in them to float in the punch. Or, freeze the same in a bundt pan, if you’ll serve the punch in a big bowl. This recipe is good for a party. You can mix it up in the morning, chill it, and top with the fizzy water just before guests arrive. If you like, garnish with lime wedges or basil leaves. —Cristina Sciarra
Make the simple syrup: In a medium pot, stir the sugar into 1 cup of water. Turn the heat to medium-high, and let the sugar water come to a simmer. Turn off the heat, and add the basil leaves. Let the simple syrup steep for 30 minutes. Run the syrup through a sieve, and then move it to the fridge to chill, at least 30 minutes.
Mix together the basil syrup, gin, grapefruit juice, lime juice and 2 cups of cold water; chill for at least 30 minutes, until quite cold. Before serving, top the punch with lime coins. You can add the fizzy water all at once to the punch bowl, or allow each guest to top off their own glass. [You can make the punch (basil syrup + gin + grapefruit juice + lime juice + water) up to 1 day ahead, and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.]
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.