I overdid things on the gardening front this year (“He Overdid It” will likely end up on my tombstone some day). Especially exciting for me were the multiple varieties of basil I had planted in both containers and along the garden beds.
However, a trick with basil is you should snip off the flowers as they appear, which encourages more leafy basilly growth. Being lazy/busy, I’d come out to see flower stalked on every basil plant on a regular basis.
Basil buds/flower sprouts/whathaveyou taste the same as the basil leaves, perhaps a bit more intense. The drawback is they are a bit woodier and if gone to actual seed a lot more bitter.
They work perfectly for infusing.
Lime basil tastes surprisingly similar to kaffir lime and is at the very least an acceptable substitute. Of the basil varieties I grew, it is the least similar to your generic sweet basil in taste.
- Lime basil buds, tender shoots, flowers, and woodier leaves
- Rinse basil well and pick out any bits that have gone to seed. You can use the tender green leaves as well, but those would better serve you in recipes (try in thai soups and seafood dishes!)
- Put basil bits in a glass jar and add just enough vodka to cover.
- Set aside in a cool, dark place for about 2-4 weeks.
- Pour through a metal strainer and store in a cool place out of direct sunlight.
Tip: These exact instructions, exchanging vinegar for vodka, makes a fantastic flavored vinegar.
- Sip it neat!
- As a substitute for lime juice and vodka when you want a lower acid alternative
- In a cosmo, bloody mary,
- With soda water, tonic, ginger ale, or Sprite
Second thoughts kamikaze
- 2 oz lime basil infused vodka
- .5 oz triple sec
- maraschino cherry
Shake first 2 ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry.
Basil flower sour
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist.