Best Cocktail

Cucumber Basil Rickey at Rasika
633 D St. NW, Washington, DC, (202) 637-1222

The best cocktails accentuate the flavors of a spirit, not mask them. Rasika’s Cucumber Basil Rickey, mixologist’s Ann Marie Dick’s take on a classic gin rickey, is simple but smart. It all starts with Hendrick’s gin (arguably the best around), which contains the standard bouquet of botanicals but is also infused with Bulgarian rose and cucumber. I’m not sure what Bulgarian rose tastes like, but hints of cucumber are easily detectable. Real cucumber and basil are first muddled with ginger syrup and then shaken with lime juice and the Hendrick’s. The concoction is strained over ice and topped with soda water. Since the cucumber and basil remain in the shaker, the cocktail is all too easy to sip. But the aromatics perform their duty: They beautifully amplify the herbaceous quality of the gin.

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