Holidaying on the Mediterranean coast at the beginning of Summer is a real senses overload. The heat, the colours, the sun, the fragrant smells, everything conspires for you to be happy and your taste buds almost self-combust the fresh food is so good. So coming back to rainy London is a shock and you really try to prolong your holiday in every way you can.

My suggestion to survive this jolt is to swap pub-time for aperitivo-time. Get your favourite Southern European nibble and prepare yourself a Basil Smash – the perfect drink to get merry while enjoying a taste of the Mediterranean again.



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  • 45ml Pisco
  • 25ml fresh lemon juice
  • 15ml simple syrup
  • 15ml elderflower cordial (or St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur if you prefer your drinks on the stronger side)
  • 3 or 4 large basil leaves or a small bunch of Greek basil leaves
  • basil leaves for garnish


Mix the lemon juice, the simple syrup, the elderflower cordial and the basil leaves in a cocktail shaker. Muddle them all together making sure the leaves get properly crushed. Add the Pisco and some ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a short glass filled with fresh ice cubes and garnish with some fresh basil leaves.

A little note: This cocktail’s basil taste really depends on the type of herb you manage to find. So you should up or down the quantities according to what you get and if you are lucky enough to live on the Mediterranean coast and have access to richly odorous basil, maybe add only two leaves and taste your mix before adding the third.

Styling: Margherita Poggiali
Photography: Dee Ramadan