As amiable as it sounds, this basil-boosted cocktail pays homage to Seven Grand lead bartender, Matt Wallace’s favorite band, Lifter Puller, who sings about the cocktail’s namesake bar. For this summery sipper, Wallace let the basil be his guide, balancing the pungent herb with a sweeter style of bourbon and an Italian aperitif. “When I was considering the ingredients, I didn’t want the basil to get buried in the whiskey,” he says, “and I thought Aperol would be a good way to bring out the herbal notes.”
2 oz. bourbon (Wallace recommends Buffalo Trace)
3/4 oz. Aperol
1/2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
3 drops of orange flower water
4-6 fresh basil leaves
Tools: shaker, strainer, fine-mesh strainer
Glass: coupe or cocktail
Garnish: fresh basil leaf
Shake all ingredients, double strain into glass and garnish.
Matt Wallace, Seven Grand, Los Angeles
For more on LA's cocktail scene, check out "A Star Is Re-Born" in the July/August 2010 issue.