“Sweet, herbaceous and acidic all at once, this is a great pre-dinner cocktail before a nice glass of white wine,” says 312 Chicago head bartender Jenn Knott of her cocktail. She experimented with using a syrup instead of a shrub, but the latter ended up keeping the drink more fresh and tart. White balsamic vinegar, made in Italy from the trebbiano grape, is mixed with white wine vinegar and cooked at a low temperature to retain its clearish color.
- 1 1/2 oz Fords gin
- 1 1/2 oz Honeydew-basil-white balsamic shrub*
- Prosecco, to float
- Lemon wedge, to rim glass
- Basil salt (chopped fresh basil combined with coarse salt), to rim glass
Rub the lemon wedge on half of the outside of a coupe glass, coat with the basil salt mixture and set aside.
Add the gin and syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled.
Double-strain into the prepared coupe glass.
Float the chilled prosecco on top.
*Honeydew-basil-white-balsamic shrub: Cut off the rind and remove the seeds from 1 whole honeydew, then cut the melon into chunks. Combine it in the blender with 1 cup fresh basil, and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a saucepan, add 4 cups white sugar and 4 cups cold water, and simmer until the sugar has dissolved, being careful not to overheat. Remove it from the heat and let it cool, then strain through a chinois cloth. Add 1 1⁄2 cups white balsamic vinegar, and keep the shrub in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.