Last Leaf

Although we’re into the beginning of Fall, I just can’t let go of summer flavours. Home gardens aren’t dead just yet, so I thought it would be timely to create something with the last few remnants that can be salvaged.

If you’re like me, you probably have basil in your garden. And if you’re like me, you probably have a lot left over that you don’t want to see go to waste before the cold hits.

Easy solution: Syrup time!

With that in mind, I picked the remaining leaves off my basil plant and got to work trying to think of something that would pair well with it. I tend to use a lot of gin in my recipes, so I tried to think a little outside the box with this one.

Photos by ADV Photography

A bottle of Captain Morgan White Rum in my bar caught my eye and I found myself gravitating towards it. I decided on a rum sour that would highlight the basil.


2 oz white rum
½ oz basil syrup
½ oz lime juice
¼ oz Cointreau
¾ oz egg white
Lime wedge and basil leaf for garnish

Add all ingredients except for lime wedge and basil leaf into a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain out the ice, dry shake, and double-strain into a chilled coupe. Rim the glass with lime wedge and garnish with a basil leaf and lime wedge.

Basil Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup fresh basil leaves

Combine ingredients into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and remove at the first sign of a boil. Allow the syrup to cool, strain it into a container, and refrigerate.


As you’d expect, the basil is fairly pronounced, but the white rum is smooth with subtle melon and nutty flavours which pair well. The lime juice cuts the overall sweetness from the syrup and the garnishes give a nice overall preview of what to expect on your first sip.

It’s a surprisingly light cocktail, but packs a hidden punch. It’s also a great way to highlight the last remaining summer flavours with subtle heavier aromas that also work in the colder months.

So don’t let those last few herbs go to waste. Incorporate them into your drink menus and you may be surprised how long your garden lasts.


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