Saturday, December 22, 2012


DEBORAH CROMBIEIt's that time of year, so here's my bit of Christmas cheer!


1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz Bombay Sapphire gin
2 tsp basil simple syrup*
4 oz Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice
Top with Perrier or other sparkling water
Garnish with sliver of lime and pomegranate seeds

You can serve in a short glass, or in a wine glass as I've done here. Either way, it's bright red and very festive. If you don't care for the alcohol, it's good--and very refreshing--without. But don't leave out the basil simple syrup--that's the magic ingredient!

Basil simple syrup:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
several large sprigs fresh basil

Heat sugar and water until sugar dissolves. Turn off heat, add basil, let steep until sugar solution cools. Remove basil, pour syrup into glass jar and refrigerate. 

(Photo credit to Rick, with thanks for serving as official photographer and food stylist:-)) 

Cheers, and Happy Holidays!      


  1. Debs, good idea having drinkies recipe! I never would have thought of basil in a drink but find the sound of this one very appealing. The juniper in gin would blend very smoothly with your added basil– perfect, I think.

    After a good rain on the ranch over in Kelso Valley, I'd walk out to the juniper grove and stand under the windmill. With nobody around for miles, it smelled like a Christmas party at 20 Louisburg Square in Boston.

  2. That is a gorgeous photo Debs--kudos to your Rick! I'm not a big gin lover but I'd try one of these...:)

  3. Very pretty, thank you!

    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to all the Reds and backbloggers.

  4. Oh, How Pretty!!!

    What a talented man your Rick is - this is a great picture!

    I'm not much of a drinker, but the basil sounds really intriguing. I'm going to have to give this a try.

  5. I love cocktails with a little sparkling water and lots of flavor -- this sounds like it fits the bill.

    And it LOOKS gorgeous!

    Hmmmm. Wondering about making this with vodka and a splash of cointreau...

  6. Hallie, I was wondering the same thing. If you wanted to do it as a pom martini, you'd need a bit of something else. Hmmm. Will have to look up recipes. I actually discovered the basil simple syrup making it for a drink it turned out I didn't like. But I LOVED the syrup.

    By the way, I only use a teaspoon, but adjusted the recipe because most people seem to like their drinks sweeter than I do.

  7. The simple syrup scares many calories! My husband made a cranberry punch with prosecco last weekend. I thought it was a little boring but he wasn't taking the hint. When our Ukranian cleaning lady came early to help with the party I knew she would have the answer so I asked her to taste it. "Needs vodka!"
    Everyone loved the punch.

  8. Ro, it's only a teaspoon--at least if you make it the way I make mine. If you figure half of that tsp. is water, that comes out at 8 calories. You'd have to drink more than one of these drinks to worry about the cals:-)

  9. Hallie, I looked up recipes. You can make a pom martini with vodka or gin, and some recipes do call for orange liqueur. And of course if you're making a martini you'd double the gin or vodka. The recipe I've given is a light one.

    Will have to try a smidgen of orange. Don't want to overpower the basil. And I haven't tried this with vodka because the it's combo of herby gin and basil that works so well. (In my non-professional mixologist opinion:-))

  10. Definitely going to make the basil simple syrup.

    The 8-9 calories in a tsp of simple syrup are nothing compared to the 78 in an ounce of Bombay Sapphire.

  11. Just 4 oz of Prosecco has 80 calories...
    60 or so calories more in an ounce of Vodka.
    You could DIET by comparison on straight simple syrup.

  12. Sounds delicious!

    I've had a Lemon Basil martini which I think probably uses this basic simple syrup, and adds limoncello to the vodka.

  13. Sounds scumptious. I love sweet drinks. Here's my contribution--not a drink, more a dessert. Boil mint leaves, water and sugar to make a heavy syrup. Strain and refrigerate. When serving add rum to taste. In a dish put two scoops of vanilla ice cream, cover with sliced peaches, top with the mint rum sauce, and guests leave happy. I tried it once with black forest ice cream, no peaches. To die for. Caroline Todd

  14. Ooh, Jan, sound yummy, and I have some limoncello that I'm never sure what to do with. Post recipe?

    Caroline, if you like your drinks sweet, you'd probably want to up the basil syrup, maybe even half an oz.

  15. Debs, when I first looked at your post last night, Rick's photo hadn't loaded. Beautiful! Did he take your Christmas story photos, as well?

    Jan, the lemon basil martini sounds very tasty, as well. I would love it if you posted the recipe.

  16. Gin, pomegranate juice, basil simple syrup -- I love all of these. Can't wait to make this when I wind down for the year. I always have pomegranate concentrate in the house; it's a staple.

  17. Shizuka, I've made this with lemon juice, but I like lime better. Seems compliment the slight spiciness of the basil better.

  18. Reine, Marcia Talley gets photo credit for the Christmas Story house photos, taken with her iPhone.

    Rick did take the drink pic, using a tripod and his Canon SLR. Jack-of-all-trades, he's done professional photography, professional lighting, ditto sound systems, been a police officer, run a 911 dispatch center, and now designs web pages. If you like my webpage, FB author page, etc., that is all his work. And it's not his fault that I need to update my web page:-)

  19. Well then I love his work, as well as yours, Debs.

  20. Gorgeous photo, Debs! What a Renaissance man Rick is!

    I'm not much of a cocktail drinker, but this sounds like one I might enjoy. Caroline, I love the idea of your dessert with rum sauce. Thanks! I will try it for a New Year's Eve get-together we're attending.

    Happy Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Yule/Solstice/whatever to all the Jungle Reds and honorary Reds and back bloggers!

  21. And I think Marcia Talley's pics from yesterday are adorable! Who would have predicted, a few years ago, that a phone would take pictures– good ones, at that?

  22. Oh, fabulous! And it sounds yummy...! rushing off to write my hoiday cards..PLENTY of time! Maybe a nice one of Debs' christmas cocktails would help..