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Lemon Basil Bourbon Cocktail

A delightfully refreshing lemon-bourbon cocktail mixed with ginger beer, and flavoured with a few leaves of fresh basil. Surprisingly delicious!



For the Oleo Saccharum (Lemon Simple Syrup)

  • 4 lemons
  • 1/4 c sugar

For the Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz of lemon oleo saccharum
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 3 + 1 basil leaves
  • 2 oz ginger beer
  • slice fresh lemon


Make the Oleo Saccharum (Lemon Simple Syrup)

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, zest the lemons into long, thin strips, avoiding the bitter white pith as much as possible. In a medium bowl, toss the lemon zest strips with the sugar until every piece of peel is thoroughly coated.
  2. Set aside for three hours or up to a day. The citrus oils will emerge from the peel and dissolve into the sugar, creating a syrup. Add a few tablespoons of hot water to dissolve any remaining bits of sugar. Strain the liquid into a small container, squeezing the peel to extract as much oil as possible. Keep for up to one week in the fridge.

Make the cocktail

  1. In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the bourbon, lemon oleo saccharum, lemon juice and three basil leaves.
  2. Shake until well-chilled, then strain first through the shaker’s own strainer, and again through a fine mesh strainer into a tall glass with fresh ice.
  3. Top with two ounces of ginger beer and stir briefly. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a basil leaf, lightly bruised between your palms before adding to the drink. (to release the oils in the basil).


  • Serving Size: 1