Lauren Adams

Spring Break is so close, guys. Warmer weather is just around the corner, and that makes me so excited for fresh, in-season fruits and bringing back my herb garden. I thought a lot about what I wanted to write about this week because there are just so many light, refreshing spring recipes that I am excited about.

Eventually, I decided upon sharing one of my favorite drink recipes with you all: the pineapple basil smash. Now I know what you may be thinking, but basil in a cocktail is a game-changer. If you have never had it, this is the perfect drink to start with. The vodka in this drink can absolutely be substituted with gin, I just prefer the former. You can also skip the liquor altogether for the perfect, fresh mocktail recipe!

The special ingredient in this recipe is the basil simple syrup. If you do not have time to make this, you can get a similar flavor by muddling some basil leaves at the bottom of the glass. However, I do recommend taking the time to make the syrup because if you muddle the leaves, you run the risk of muddling the leaves too much and getting a bitter, gross taste from the basil. This stuff can also last in the fridge for a long time. Some people say up to six months, but I usually keep it for around one to two months, just to be safe.

To make the simple syrup, simply combine a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water in a saucepan with a few basil leaves (I also like to use the stem because it has more flavor) and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once at a simmer, remove it from the heat, let it cool completely and discard the basil leaves. Do not let it boil because then the water will evaporate, throwing off the water to sugar ratio.

Here is the rest of the recipe:

Serves: 1

3(ish) cubes of fresh pineapple

1.5 oz. vodka or gin

0.5 oz. basil simple syrup

2 oz. pineapple juice

4 oz. club soda

In a highball glass, muddle a few chunks of fresh pineapple at the bottom of the glass. If you do not have a muddler, use the end of a wooden spoon. Fill the glass the rest of the way with ice.

Build the rest of the ingredients in the order that they appear and stir well. Top with club soda.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.

This is by far one of my favorite drinks to make for all of my friends because it is inexpensive and requires little effort, especially if you have already made the basil simple syrup. I hope this drink becomes a staple to your spring and summer as it has to mine. And please remember, always drink responsibly, Vols. Have a wonderful and safe Spring Break!

Lauren Adams is a senior studying Spanish and political science with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She can be reached atladams30@vols.utk.edu.

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