Recipe: Basil Gimlet from The Parlor

Where she grew up in small-town Georgia, Gillian Tervet says, "by middle school, we were drinking whiskey."

"That's just the way it is in the South."

Next month, when she heads off to Australia for a few months to try her hand at another culture, she's hoping to land a job bartending at some beach joint.

There, we're sure she'll come up with some cocktail that incorporates eucalyptus or peppermint gum or some other Australian oddity. But, while she's still in Phoenix, working behind the bar at The Parlor on 20th Street and Camelback, she's coming up with cocktails that come pretty much straight from her surroundings.

Case in point: the Basil Gimlet. Starting with fresh basil from the garden outside the restaurant, she "initially wanted to do muddled basil with lime, like a mojito," she says. "But it wasn't vibrant enough."

Then, a fellow bartender suggested using vodka instead of rum. She made it into a martini. "It's still potent enough," she says, "but it's still subtle enough for that girl that only drinks cosmopolitans."

They're working on something using the fresh tomatoes they're growing out there, "that's not a

Bloody Mary," she says. If it turns out anything like this artful drink, we'll be there.

2 ½ ounces poured Ketel One Vodka 3 fresh lime slices 3 basil leaves, freshly torn Splash of simple syrup (Theirs is homemade, from water and sugar) Float a basil leaf on top

Shake all ingredients and pour into a cold martini glass.

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