What better way to celebrate the end of summer than with a cocktail fresh from the garden? Le Jardinier is my take on "The Gardener," the head bartender’s eponymous signature cocktail at RM Seafood at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. It is spritely in taste, a little minty on the nose, and the perfect way to use the last of your summer basil. The bits of basil floating among chards of ice on the cool, light green surface make for an attractive and inviting cocktail.
|Palm Springs sunset, perfect time for Le Jardinier|
The secret to this cocktail is its fresh ingredients, but do not substitute for the Hendricks Gin. Hendricks Gin has a lovely floral aroma and is infused with cucumber and rose petals making it the best spirit for this cocktail. In my version, I use Domaine Canton which is a ginger liqueur that adds a little extra zing to the cocktail. It can be omitted, but give it a try first. The amazing color and shape of the Domaine Canton bottle alone justifies the purchase price.
Le Jardinier for One
2 ounces Hendricks Gin
1 ounce Domaine Canton
1 ounce Simple Syrup
Juice from 1/2 of a fresh lime
Juice from 1/2 of a fresh lemon
3 fresh basil leaves torn or roughly chopped
Place all ingredients in cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously. Pour into chilled martini glass.
A Votre Santé!