With spring in full swing, I wanted to bring back the flavour of basil to the mix. I feel like I had a hit on my hands with the Last Leaf, a rum-based cocktail with herbal elements.
It just so happens that my good pal Marco gifted me a bottle of Trafalgar Ontario Wild Honey Botanical Gin (Editor’s Note: Why does Mano get all these good gifts?) for my birthday back in the winter. But like a big lazy bear, I hibernated on it all winter, not once removing the cap for a taste.
But with the snow now gone and the trees blooming, I figured it was time. Trafalgar Artisanal Distillery infuses their gin with Ontario wildflower honey, creating a lightly sweet, citrusy gin with a hint of juniper. It has notes of honey, citrus, spice and herbs.
I decided I wanted to pair it with seasonal colours and flavours, so here’s what I came up with:
In a shaker with ice, add all the ingredients and shake well. Strain out ice and shake again. Double strain into a coupe. Garnish with a mint leaf.
The end result is something that was worth hibernating for. The herbal and honey notes of the gin pair well with the lemon, spearmint, and fennel of the chartreuse. Adding that touch of basil really makes this a green, vegetal drink that pops. The lime juice and lemongrass add a nice counterbalance, ensuring it’s not overly sweet.
This recipe made me realize that I have quite a few unopened bottles in my bar that are due for a try-out. And believe or not, they were all gifts from Marco.
I probably shouldn’t tell him that.