Cocktail Crush, California Edition: Ventana Inn’s Basil Gimlet

I want to drink all of my Basil Gimlets by an open fire and the sun going down over the Pacific.

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.

I’m not going to lie. The moment captured above looks ALMOST as enchanting as the actual experience itself. No wonder I fell head over heels for this smooth operator. I mean, it didn’t hurt that I had some of my favorite ladies with me or that Big Sur, California is the definition of magic (seriously, my head is still spinning from the jaw dropping beauty of it all)…but sometimes a bartender just gets it right. Jill, who was behind the stick at The Ventana Inn when we dropped in, is the real deal. And her Basil Gimlet, featured on their cocktail menu, is a sock blower off-er. Having tried a number of cocktails around Big Sur, keeping with the Gin theme for the month, this one was clearly the winner.

Gimlets are traditionally 1/2 booze and 1/2 Rose’s Lime – a sweetened lime juice. I’ve always found them ridiculously sweet but more and more places are starting to add fresh lime juice and splashes of soda to cut the syrupy taste. This Gimlet didn’t have any Rose’s Lime and that was just fine with me! And even though it launched in New York over a year ago, it was the first time that I was able to try Bombay Sapphire East in a cocktail.

Bombay Sapphire East

This new Gin extension from House of Bombay is London Dry Gin infused with lemongrass and Vietnamese black peppercorn. Lime juice, Basil and Simple Syrup rounded out this little Casanova, and I was smitten. The bright basil and lime flavors contrasting with the dry Gin, hints of peppercorn and lemongrass was such a delight, I hardly noticed the craziness happening around me. The expansive sky turning to absurd colors, the light hitting the hills behind us just so, combined with the glow of the fire pit in the middle our table, casting an Elizabeth-Taylor-White-Diamonds-commercial type filter on all of us. Everyone looked so goddamned lovely. I’m pretty sure this is how everyone should enjoy a Gimlet.

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