HERBAL EXPERIMENT: Some use sweet basil to lend a just-picked, sweet-and-savory flavor. Mint works too. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
Total time: 6 minutes
Note: Adapted from Bar Nineteen 12 bar manager Philip Spee. To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves.
6 lime wedges
5 basil leaves
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces cachaça
1 ounce soda, or to taste
1. Combine five of the lime wedges, four of the basil leaves and the simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Using a muddler or the back of a spoon, muddle firmly five or six times, until the lime wedges have released some of their juice.
2. Add the cachaça. Fill with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a small rocks glass and fill with ice. Top with soda and garnish with the remaining basil leaf and lime wedge.
Each serving: 157 calories; 0 protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 grams fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 1 mg. sodium.