Back when blueberry season was in full swing, I was making these delicious variations on a whiskey buck almost every evening and loving it.
They’re herby, a little tart, and extremely refreshing. But time kept marching on and blueberry season passed me by.
I kept meaning to write the recipe down and take a few photos, but it kept not happening and I gave up on making it happen because I thought all of our seasonal blueberries had gone past.
But, then this evening I reached into the fridge and uncovered the remnants a pint of blueberries that came with our CSA. To my surprise, the few berries that were left were still hanging in there.
A miraculous and happy discovery in mid-September.
So, I celebrated by plucking a hand full of basil leaves from my window garden, which is still hanging in there too, thank you very much. (Knocking on wood, giving a four-fingered kiss to the sky, grinning wildly, and doing an actual dance shuffle) while mixing up a beautiful drink, and pulling out the camera to share one of my favorite cocktails of the year.
If you miraculously have any blueberries left yourself, give this drink a try. It puts those precious little blue gems to good use.
I might try frozen blueberries later this fall, to see if they’ll hold me through the winter. I’ll check back if that works out.
(Note: The splash of bottled blueberry-pomegranate juice isn’t necessary, but it does add a nice extra tartness from the pomegranate and boosts the deep, dark colors nicely.)
Blueberry Basil Whiskey Buck
Yields: 1 fantastic cocktail
15 fresh blueberries, plus more for garnish
2-4 large basil leaves
Juice of one lime wedge
2 oz. Bulleit rye whiskey
1-2 oz. ginger beer (Maine Root or homemade is best)
Splashy of pomegranate blueberry juice (I use POM)
Combine blueberries, basil, and lime juice in a cocktail glass or cocktail shaker. Muddle gently until blueberries have burst and basil is fragrant.
Add whiskey, ginger beer, and pomegranate blueberry juice. Stir or shake well, until shaker or glass is well-coated with frost. Pour into rocks glass and garnish with a basil sprig and blueberries.
Photos by Jedd Kettler