This drink is built around the bones of a traditional daiquiri, a classic cocktail composed of rum, lime juice, and sugar. The twist is a bouquet of Thai flavors: ginger, Thai basil, and (optionally) green chile pepper. I used a homemade ginger liqueur (see the recipe here: http://tinyurl.com/gingerliqueur), but you could substitute Domaine De Canton, a ginger liqueur made with cognac. This cocktail also works well as a punch (see second picture): chill a large amount of the infused rum, liqueur, and lime in proportion; add them to a punch bowl with a block of ice; top with club soda; and garnish with thin slices of lime and a handful of Thai basil leaves and flowers. Put out a small bowl of sliced jalapeños so that your guests can add them to their cups. However you serve the drink, be sure to squeeze the limes at the last possible moment. —Michael Hoffman
Ginger-Basil Infused Rum (Makes enough for 6 cocktails.)
fresh ginger, julienned
Thai basil leaves
Thai Ginger Lime Cooler
ginger-basil infused rum
lime juice, freshly squeezed
orange bitters, such as Regan's
Thai basil leaves
slice jalapeño pepper (optional)
In This Recipe
Place all ingredients for the infused rum in a non-reactive container, cover, and let sit at room temperature, stirring occasionally for 4 to 48 hours.
Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve. Store at room temperature. Keeps a really long time.
Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds of the way with ice. Add first 4 ingredients and 4 of the basil leaves. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds until very cold.
Fill a chilled Collins glass with ice and the remaining 4 basil leaves. Strain the cocktail into the glass.
Add several ounces of club soda and, if desired, the slice of jalapeño. Stir gently, and enjoy.