Ginger Basil Martini, Charleston, and Blog Updates


One of the most fun aspects of having a (mostly) food blog is that people inevitably want to share their recipes with me.  I’ve been entrusted with old worn index cards (my personal favorite), forwarded links to anywhere and everywhere, and even jotted down ingredient lists and directions while chatting with strangers.  All of these scenarios make my heart happy.

This cocktail is actually a hand-me-down of sorts too.  It comes to us all the way from Grand Cayman, via my Aunt Linda who got it from Ziggy, the bartender at Rum Point.  As I am told, Aunt Linda chopped a handful of fresh basil from her garden, which she later brought to Ziggy so that he could whip up a batch of his “famous” ginger basil martinis for her and my parents who were visiting from New York.  Somewhere between the first drink and a few too many she wrangled this recipe out of him.  It came back to me with a note that said “make for blog”.  I so appreciate that my Aunt Linda had the gumption to ask for it, and that she knew I would love it and want to share it; she’s good like that.

Believe it or not that happened nearly two years ago, and I’ve been keeping this drink in my back pocket ever since.  You might have guessed that there are other things I’ve been keeping from you.  It was a quiet summer on the blog for a few reasons.  The first being that my long-talked-about redesign is finally happening!  I am not entirely certain as to a launch date yet, but what I do know is that the site will have a much cleaner look overall, be easier to navigate, and include a recipe index.

I traveled a lot over the last couple of months.  I took several road trips to pretty little corners of Upstate New York and parts of New England that I hadn’t yet seen.  There was a trip to Charleston as well.  I went before Hurricane Matthew hit, and am sending lots of love and light there and to the other areas affected as they continue to clean up.  If anything, I hope these photos will serve as another reminder to visit that truly beautiful city at some point.

So as not to inundate you with all of the shots I took, I am going to update my original Charleston city guide with new photos and what we ate this time, where we stayed, etc.  Spoiler alert: we loved the Peanut Butter & Jelly beer at Edmund’s Oast (I had my doubts about this, but the PB smell alone was enough to reel me in!), I’m still thinking about our incredible meal at 167 Raw, and Planters Inn will forever have my old-school-vintage-loving heart.

This post is a mashup then of what’s been happening and what’s to come.  I should also mention that I’ll be heading to Grand Cayman myself for New Year’s Eve, so hopefully I (or my Aunt Linda) can pry another stellar cocktail recipe out of Ziggy; more adventures and more fun drinks always.  In the meantime, some things may be shifting around here until I can get the redesign fully hashed out, but I intend to keep on posting.  I have a backlog of recipes that I want to share and have so missed being able to connect with all of you.

In that spirit, cheers to a new season, new content, and lots of new beginnings!












Ginger Basil Martini
I took a couple of liberties with this recipe as while Ziggy's version is totally delicious, it's also totally strong! As in, knock you on your butt, two of these will most definitely do you in, strong. Though it wouldn't be the same cocktail, if you want to skip the more obscure ginger liqueur, you can try shaking the remaining ingredients as is, serving over ice, and finishing the drink with a splash of ginger beer to achieve a similar spicy flavor. Feel free to play with different varieties of basil too! To shoot this post, I used a cinnamon variety I had growing in my garden and it was excellent!
Recipe type: Sips
Serves: 1 drink
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves + more for garnish
  • Ice
  • ½ ounce elderflower liqueur, such as St. Germain
  • ½ ounce ginger liqueur, such as Domaine De Canton
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  1. Place the basil and ice in a cocktail shaker and give it a good shake. This is my lazy - albeit effective - method for releasing the oils in the basil. Add the remaining ingredients to the shaker and shake again. Strain over a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired. Enjoy!


One Response to Ginger Basil Martini, Charleston, and Blog Updates

  1. Anonymous says:

    You make me wish I was in Charleston – – sipping on a ginger basil martini at the Planters Inn or in Grand Cayman! Beautiful post!

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