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Remix cocktail extra: basil-blackberry fizz

April 5, 2012
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My monthly cocktail column, Remix, is meant to … well, remix classic American cocktails: those drinks you see in Mr. Boston but maybe have never tried yourself, because they look fussy, or old-fashioned, or use weird ingredients. I try to simplify or update Ye Olde Intoxicants for a more modern palate, and I have a lot of fun doing it. But in the course of testing recipes or creating new flavor profiles, often I’ll run across a combo that won’t work for the column, but works on its own. That happened this month — I came up with a drink that strayed too far from the pisco sour, but I think it’s the ideal backyard-barbecue cocktail, so I decided to share it here. (Not that I don’t also love my neon fizz! Go try it!)

basil blackberry fizz cocktail

Not in a Mason jar. But yours should be

The basil-blackberry fizz is light, refreshingly tart, drinkable (i.e., low enough in alcohol that you can sip a few over the course of the afternoon and not worry about passing out and falling onto the grill) and mostly local: The fruit and herbal elements can all be easily procured from local farmers markets (or even your backyard). I didn’t use it in the column because it’s a bit rustic, full of muddled fruit and crushed herbs and ice, very much unlike the smooth and sophisticated pisco sour. Also, this drink doesn’t have any egg white in it, a crucial element of the pisco sour.

Note: This is a drink best served in a Mason jar — you can’t use a straw because the blackberries will jam it up, and the “shoulders” of the jar help catch the fruit and herbs so you don’t look like a goob with leaves and berries hanging out your mouth and down your shirt.

Without further ado: the basil-blackberry fizz*. Happy drinking!

6 whole fresh blackberries
2 oz pisco
1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 oz simple syrup (I used Florida Crystals instead of regular white sugar, which resulted in a syrup with a deeper, almost brown-sugar note)
seltzer
1/2 tablespoon (or to taste) of St. Germain liqueur
fresh basil leaves

Muddle the blackberries at the bottom of a pint-size Mason jar, then mostly fill the glass with ice. Shake together the pisco, lime juice, and simple syrup and add to the glass. Fill the glass up with seltzer, float the St. Germain over the top to perfume the glass, and top with crushed basil leaves. Now go grill, or do some yardwork or something!

* Technically, cocktail-category-wise, this is a spritzer, not a fizz, but something about the phrase “pisco spritzer” — uhh, I just couldn’t do it.

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