in tucson we used to frequent this restaurant / bar on university called pasco after work with our friend claudia. they have the best fries, an amazing albondigas soup, and lots of great vegetarian options, but their craft cocktails is where they really shine. they have a long list of cocktails featuring their homemade syrups and bitters and jams, and we never tried a bad one in our years of going there. but our favorite was always hands-down the “patio herb collins,” a drink with gin, muddled cucumber, sweet basil syrup, and freshly squeezed sweet and sour.
the patio herb collins was always the perfect summer drink, which in tucson of course meant it was perfect pretty much year round. but now that we’re finally getting some warmer weather here (except today, it’s going to snow! wtf may?!), we’ve been craving this drink and took a stab at recreating it last weekend. we did things a little differently…fresh basil and regular simple syrup instead of an actual basil syrup, lemon and lime juice instead of sweet and sour…but all of the elements are there, and we think it ended up tasting pretty close to what we remember. if you’re in the market for a great summer cocktail, give this a try!
ingredients (serves 2):
-4 fresh basil leaves, washed and chopped into a chiffonade
-about 1/3 large cucumber, diced
-3 oz gin
-1 1/2 oz simple syrup, homemade or store bought (look for something made with real cane sugar, though)
-juice from 1/2 fresh lime
-juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
-tonic water or club soda
add half of the cucumber and half of the basil to each of your glasses (try a highball glass, or a 12 oz tall mason jar like we used here). muddle the cucumber and basil using a muddler or the back of a spoon until they start to get a little juicy.
next, add 1 shot (1 1/2 oz) of gin and 3/4 oz simple syrup to each drink. then, squeeze juice from 1/4 of a lime and 1/4 of a lemon into each drink.
add a few ice cubes to each glass, then top off with your favorite tonic or club soda. serve with a fancy straw, and repeat!