In honor of Mixology Monday's theme this time of the smash, here's a variation on one of the great modern classics, the Gin Basil Smash, created in the summer of 2008 by Joerg Meyer of Le Lion, Bar de Paris, in Hamburg. (Photo right by Jay Hepburn, from his great OhGo.sh video of Joerg making the Gin Basil Smash.)
Though you may never have noticed before, basil has flavor notes which harmonize with clove and, surprisingly, chocolate. I've substituted the rich sugar syrup in the original with crème de cacao and added clove bitters and clove garnish to pull out those other flavors and scents.
2 oz gin
3/4 oz Tempus Fugit crème de cacao (or other very high quality crème de cacao)
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/8 oz Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas' Own Decanter Bitters (or other clove-focused bitters)
8 fresh sweet basil leaves
Muddle the leaves in your shaker tin along with the rind of half a juiced lemon, the creme de cacao, and the bitters. Add gin and ice and shake vigorously. Double strain over ice—crushed or cobble ice would be lovely with this—into a coupe or small Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of ground clove and a fresh basil leaf pierced by a whole clove.