Spring is finally here on the east coast and there’s nothing that goes better with it than a light, refreshing early evening beverage.  And with that, I present the Rickshaw, a tangy gin and lime based concoction sure to put a smile on your face.  The secret smile-inducing ingredient that takes this drink to another level is basil-infused simple syrup.


You must make the syrup first because it needs time to steep.  To do so, add 1/2 cup of sugar to 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until the sugar has melted.  Add 1/4 cup of fresh loosely packed basil leaves and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 8 hours.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve and there you have the basil-infused simple syrup.

To make the cocktail, add gin, fresh squeezed lime juice and basil syrup to a cocktail shaker full of ice.  Shake and strain into a cocktail glass filled with crushed ice.  You should use a leaf or two of basil for garnish.  However, if like me, you used it all, a sprig of mint will do just fine.

Although this drink was lovely in spring, I am going to certainly make a case for it in the summer, and perhaps all year round.  Cheers!


from Danny Meyer

makes 1 cocktail


2 ounces gin
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce basil syrup (see recipe below)
fresh basil for garnish
ice cubes and crushed ice


  • Place ice cubes in a cocktail shaker and add gin, lime juice and basil syrup. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass full of crushed ice.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Basil Syrup

makes about 3/4 cup


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves


  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the basil leaves and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, cover and let stand at room temperature for 8 hours.
  • Strain into a glass container, cover and refrigerate until needed.


Filed under Alcoholic, Beverages

4 responses to “Rickshaw

  1. Yum, this is like a mojito with gin instead of rum and basil instead of mint-nice!

  2. This sounds fantastic! On my To Mix list once my summer basil plant is producing enough leaves!

  3. Gin is definitely my drink! I can’t wait to make this.

  4. Sarah Murphy

    This is the most refreshing drink ever!! On my way to the store to buy a bag of limes and a bottle of gin! Already have the basil syrup!!

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