Strawberry Basil Smash with Diplomático Rum

Game, set…SMASH! It’s official, Spring has sprung, and with it all of the fresh fruits and blossoms and herbs are bursting at the seams here in California. And my severe seasonal allergies to it all can prove it!

You know what I’m not allergic to? Sipping on delicious rum drinks whilst playing table tennis in the sunshine with some of my favorites. Oh, springtime…you just GET me. Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum, a dark golden Venezuelan rum, happens to be one of these favorites. Not only is it fabulous on its own, it is surprisingly versatile in cocktails.

So I was thrilled when they contacted me for a challenge to create an original Diplomático cocktail using peak-season ingredients unique to Los Angeles. Strawberries are in season and are especially sweet right now, and basil also seems to be everywhere. I love the combo of strawberries and balsamic and thought a sweet reduction would work really nicely with the aged Diplomático. Here is the result of those springtime flavor inspirations: The Strawberry Basil Smash!

Strawberry Basil Smash
2 oz Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva
1/4 oz Lime Juice
1 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Balsamic Reduction
2 Strawberries
2 Sprigs Basil
1 oz Seltzer
Garnish: Strawberry & Basil

In a mixing glass, muddle all ingredients except rum and seltzer. Add rum and shake with ice. Add a splash of seltzer and stir. Double strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with strawberry and basil sprigs.

I'd love to hear what YOU think! Scratch a few thoughts down there, why dontcha?