To make this refreshing riff on a martini, chef Laurent Tourondel muddles basil and cucumber the same way he'd mash the ingredients for a mojito; then he pours in gin and a zingy mixture of ginger syrup and lime juice.
One 3-inch piece of cucumberpeeled, seeded and diced, plus 1 round for garnish
3 basil leaves, 2 torn
2 ounces gin
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the hot water. Press the grated ginger through a fine strainer set over the bowl, releasing the juice.
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the diced cucumber with the 2 torn basil leaves. Add the ginger syrup, gin, lime juice and a handful of ice. Shake well, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish the martini with the cucumber slice and the remaining whole basil leaf and serve.