Plum Smash & Sanpellegrino Limonata
For us, this cocktail has a lush, late-summer vibe. It’s all about the beautiful gardens we see on evening strolls through our favorite SoCal neighborhoods — and how we long to slip through their gates and steal a bouquet of fragrant basil, a perfectly ripe lemon, or a sweet red plum. Or perhaps all three, so we can muddle them up in this smashing cocktail.
Grilling fresh plums is a very good idea. The outside of the fruit chars so that it’s lightly caramelized and a bit smoky. The inside becomes intensely sweet-tart and plummy. The plums look so beautiful when they come off the grill, it’s almost a shame to smash them. Yet if we’re honest, it’s extremely satisfying (they’re so soft).
Layered with the basil, lemon, bourbon, and a hit of fizzy limonata, the plums take on an earthy quality, and the drink reminds us very much of a boozy hibiscus lemonade.
This is definitely a cocktail to share at a small, socially distant happy hour or dinner. Between the aromatic basil and the deep pink color, it has a certain vivacity — it’ll charm your guests. Plus, if you’re grilling one plum, you might as well grill six. (Your neighbor won’t miss them.)
1 plum, halved, divided
4 basil leaves, divided
½ oz simple syrup
1 oz lemon juice
2 oz bourbon
Prepare a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium heat.
Brush one half of the plum with the canola oil, and grill it over indirect heat, flipping once, for a total of 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly charred.
In a shaker, muddle the grilled plum, 3 of the basil leaves, and the simple syrup.
Add the lemon juice and bourbon, fill the shaker with ice, and shake the cocktail heartily.
Fill a rocks glass halfway with ice, strain the cocktail over it, and top off the glass with a splash of Limonata.
Garnish with a slice of the remaining plum half and a basil leaf.