A basil lemonade granita that’s delicious on its own transforms a glass of bourbon into a fun, adult-slush cocktail.
Did you know that September is National Bourbon Heritage Month? Enjoying a bourbon cocktail felt necessary once I learned this.
Since I rang in the porch-drinks season with strawberry basil bourbon lemonade, it seemed fitting to spend the last weeks of summer sipping on another bourbon lemonade concoction.
This time around, the cocktail recipe features a basil lemonade granita instead of a traditional lemonade. An ounce or two of bourbon poured over a scoop of granita amounts what is essentially a grown-up slushie, and I’m always on board with that.
A granita is not difficult to make, but it is time consuming. To get a flaky consistency, you’ll need to rake the mixture every 30 minutes for the three hours it takes to fully freeze.
If you leave the granita alone, you’ll end up with a block of flavorful ice instead. Adding a frozen cube of basil lemonade to a glass is another way to enjoy bourbon, but not the way to enjoy this particular bourbon cocktail.
So set a timer, and knock out a chore you’ve been procrastinating for those 30 minutes between raking. Or do a few exercises. Or read a book. Or just give yourself permission to do nothing. Cheers!
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup lemon juice (from about 6 lemons)
- 7 1/2 ounces bourbon
- Bring the water, sugar, basil leaves, and honey to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Allow the mixture to boil for 5 minutes, then cool to room temperature.
- Once the mixture has cooled, strain out the basil leaves and stir in the lemon juice.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13 pan (you can use a baking dish or a rimmed baking sheet) and freeze for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the freezer, rake the mixture with a fork, and return the pan to the freezer.
- Repeat this freeze, rake, and refreeze cycle for about 3 hours until the granita is frozen into flaky crystals.
- To serve, place a scoop of granita into a cocktail glass, then add 1 1/4 ounces of bourbon. Sip and enjoy.
Recipe from The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook by Amy Lawrence and Justin Fox Burks.