Patio happy hours are my favorite and our cocktail game has been pretty strong this summer if I do say so myself. If there is ever a spicy tequila drink on a restaurant's cocktail menu, I will almost always order it- and then try to recreate it at home! Restaurant menus are a great source of inspiration when looking for different flavors and Liquors to mix and match. I honestly like to keep it simple with just some good tequila, lime seltzer, and a wedge of lime most of the time, but there are other times that you just want a little something extra.
A friend of mine dropped off a TON of fresh basil from her garden. I made pesto, caprese, and more caprese, then saved out a handful for this simple syrup. Basil and jalapenos work so well alongside each other and this simple syrup provides the perfect backdrop to even the simplest of cocktail concoctions. The fresh jalapeno really stands out here, and even more so if you drop a few slices of fresh jalapeno in your drink! I love the spicy kick.
If you can boil water, you can make simple syrup! Trust me here and have at it. Use this in a margarita, or just with a splash in a vodka soda. We made margaritas and they were a HUGE hit. So much flavor here and a perfect drink for Taco night- or any night of the week to be honest. Enjoy!
BASIL JALAPENO SIMPLE SYRUP
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
handful fresh basil leaves
1/2 sliced jalapeno
Place sugar and water in a small saucepan on medium high heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and drop in the basil and jalapeno slices. Let this all steep until the syrup is completely cooled.
Once syrup is cooled, strain into a glass container. This will last in a sealed glass container for quite a while!
BASIL JALAPENO MARGARITAS
2 oz. Tequila
1/2 oz. basil jalapeno simple syrup
lime seltzer water
jalapeno slices + lime wedges for garnish
Prep your glass with a salt rim if desired. Fill glass with ice, tequila, and the simple syrup. Finish with a pour of seltzer and a splash of lime juice. Give it a quick stir and garnish with a lime wedge and a couple of jalapeno slices for heat.