It seems like every time I go to the grocery store lately I come home with a new citrusy treasure. This past week I was greeted by a pile of big yellow pomelos. If you've never tried a pomelo, look for the big—we're talking six to eight inches around—fruit that resembles a grapefruit. The surprise comes once you cut through it: you'll immediately notice that it has a half-inch thick pithy rind that sets it apart from its tangy cousin. The pomelo's pink flesh holds a sweet-tart juice that's similar to grapefruit but without the bitter edge.
I like to pair pomelo with herbal flavors, especially basil. The slight sweetness of both the pomelo and basil work really well together, but they're both able to hold their own and bring depth to a cocktail. Gin, with its herbal inflections, rounds out the flavor and you're left with light, refreshing cocktail that's sure to leave you feeling good.
- For the Basil Syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 6 large fresh basil leaves, torn in half
- For the cocktail:
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed pomelo juice
- 3/4 ounce basil simple syrup
- 1 1/2 ounce gin
To make basil simple syrup: Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar and bring to a boil. Add basil leaves, reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Strain before bottling.
For the cocktail, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add pomelo juice, basil simple syrup, and gin. Shake vigorously for about 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with pomelo slice.
cocktail shaker and strainer