Frugal to a fault, I always look for the biggest bunch of basil at the market, even though I usually struggle to use it all up. On Friday, to celebrate my first day of between-job unemployment, I splurged at the Union Square Greenmarket. Part of my loot was a big bunch of basil (for $3). I started processing it as soon as I got home: a half-pint jar of pesto, some leaves left whole for accessorizing tomatoes, and three batches of basil simple syrup.
I looked at a number of recipes online before making this, but they were all quite similar. Like others, I went with a 1:1 sugar to water ratio and added a handful of washed basil leaves. I added everything at once, brought it to a boil and let it do its thing for about 3-4 minutes. I then let it cool to room temperature, strained out the basil leaves, and stored it in the fridge. This is an especially good use for basil that got a little sad in the fridge because you’re cooking it anyway, so looks don’t matter.
Two jars went with me to Bkswappers and went home with Kate and Emily. With the jar I made for myself, I threw together basil juleps for the boyfriend and I. Threw together=didn’t pay much attention to ratios and got a cocktail that tasted mostly like bourbon. I’m going to give them another try with this recipe.