Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Lemon-Basil Gin Rickey by @LeslieKarst


A Gin Rickey (purportedly invented in 1883 by Colonel Joe Rickey) is traditionally made with gin, lime juice, and soda water, with little or no sugar. But my take on this thirst-quenching cocktail uses lemon juice, fresh basil, and a little sugar to cut the high acid of the lemon. Perfect for the hot summer evenings to come! 


Lemon-Basil Gin Rickey

(makes one large or two small cocktails)

1 medium lemon, juiced (about 1½ oz.)

(cut off a slice of lemon before you squeeze it, to use for the garnish)

2 teaspoons sugar

2 leaves basil (plus more for garnish)

2 oz. gin

soda water to taste


Slice the lemon in half, cut off a thin slice for the garnish, then juice the lemon. 


Chop the basil into thin slices. 


Muddle the juice, sugar, and basil, and let sit for at least 15 minutes, so the flavor of the basil infuses with the juice and the sugar dissolves. 


Fill a highball glass with ice, then add the gin. 


Stir in the juice. (Pour it through a strainer if you don’t want the basil pieces in your drink. I kept them in, as I like the extra basil flavor.) Top with soda water to taste, then garnish with lemon slice and basil.


Cin cin!


🍃  🍋 🌱

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California.

An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Leslie’s website
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THE FRAGRANCE OF DEATH, coming Aug. 2, 2022, 

is now available for pre-order!



Praise for Leslie's most recent Sally Solari mystery, the Lefty Award-nominated MURDER FROM SCRATCH:

“Karst seasons her writing with an accurate insider’s view of restaurant operation, as well as a tenderness in the way she treats family, death and Sally’s reactions to Evelyn’s blindness.”

Ellery Queen Magazine (featured pick)

All five Sally Solari Mysteries are available through AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Bookshop.


Dying for a TasteA Measure of Murder, and Murder from Scratch are also available as AUDIOBOOKS from Audible!


  1. This sounds wonderfully refreshing.
    I have to wrap my head around the idea of basil in a drink instead of a pasta dish

    1. Yes, it is different, but surprisingly delicious!