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Jason Smith’s Southern Hug Cocktail

Food Network Star’s Jason Smith wants to give you a Southern Hug – also known as an Herb Basil Cocktail! One more reason to take up gardening!

Southern Hugs
Makes one ½ gallon (8 cups) pitcher


For the Basil Simple Syrup:
1 handful basil leaves
1 cup sugar

For the Cocktail:
½ gallon (8 cups) unsweetened black tea
1 (12-ounce) bottle ginger beer
6 ounces Bourbon
Basil leaves, for garnish


1. Make the simple syrup: Place basil leave and sugar in a medium saucepan and add 1 cup water. Place saucepan over medium-high heat; cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let steep 15 to 20 minutes. Strain into a container and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

2. Make the cocktail: In a pitcher large enough to hold at least ½ gallon of liquid, mix together tea, ginger beer, Bourbon, and ¼ to ½ cup simple syrup, as desired for sweetness and saving any remaining syrup for another use. Serve each Southern Hug cocktails garnished with a basil leaf.

Get more cocktail ideas by visiting Pickler & Ben’s Cocktail Recipe Archive