Clove-Fashioned (grapefruit and basil old fashioned)

I don’t drink cocktails on a regular basis. If I’m drinking at home, it means that it’s the very end of the day and I want something simple to relax with. So, beer or wine.

I only ever get cocktails if we go out for dinner, which isn’t often because cozy home cookin’ makes me happy. But I would like to learn more about mixed drinks, because the time and thought put into creating them makes for more enjoyable boozing. You’re drinking to relish the drink itself, and not simply to unwind. If that makes sense.

Last week, I went to go see River Whyless at our only local music venue. Man, they put on such a great show. It was a different very chill crowd, the band had gotten food poisoning the prior night in Chicago, and they were still awesome. If they come your way, you must go. Check out their Tiny Desk Concert if you need further convincing.

My regular show-going buds had their grandkids for the night (hush, music knows no age), it was a Sunday, and it was a drive for them. Jason and I don’t really have the same musical leanings, he had been sick that week, and he’d already put on his PJs. Which meant that was I going to the show solo. No big deal, I’d done it many times before.

I allowed myself just one single drink, right when I got to the venue. That way, the only thing that would be buzzing in me by the time I left would be the music.  It was a good drink too. It was the venue’s twist on an old fashioned and it was wonderful. I might or might not have enjoyed it in a quiet corner while reading my Kindle. I’m not a nerd,  I just like bringing my Kindle everywhere just in case. Just in case there’s a long line, just in case I don’t like the opening band, just in case…I dunno. I love my Kindle.

Anyways, I realized that I also love old fashioneds. They’re good and simple and um, old fa- I mean, classic. So I decided to try my hand at cocktailmaking by starting off with an old fashioned. I guess I kind of bastardized the old fashioned because I didn’t use bitters. I used grapefruit juice instead, and added a basil leaf or two. The basil leaves added a pleasant flavor and at the end, you can chew them and they are delicious.I know this is gonna sound weird, but leave the sugar undissolved. The little bits of grit at the bottom add some unexpected texture, so good.

Um, if this is a drink that already exists, please don’t make fun of me. I’m a newbie bartend.

I realized that it’s the end of February and I still hadn’t done the second monthly installment of Kitchen and Craft. If you’re new here, Kitchen and Craft was something I started last month where I do a simple recipe and a simple craft.

My simple craft this month are these easy cocktail stirrers. All you need are popscigle sticks and fabric. Soak the sticks in hot water for 5 minutes. Gently rock a large knife lengthwise across each popscile stick to split it into four thinner sticks. If you have wooden skewers, you can just use those instead of splitting the popscicle sticks.

For each stick, cut a 1.5 inch by 9.5 inch piece of fabric. Turn it upside down (printed side down). Fold it up once and iron flat, then fold it again and iron flat. Fold that in half and iron flat again.

Fold the fabric into a sideways v shape and place the stick over top. Fold the peak of of the V over the stick and then thread the other ends through it. Pull tight. Snip off the ends so they are nice and neat. Flip it over (so the knot is facing you). All done!



Prep Time: 4 minutes

Yield: 2 drinks


  • 4 oz good whiskey, chilled
  • 4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • a few basil leaves
  • 2 tsp brown sugar


  1. Put 1 tsp of brown sugar in each glass.
  2. Tear up a basil leaf and add it to each glass. Top with one or two full basil leaves
  3. Mix up the whiskey and grapefruit juice.
  4. Divide the mix among both serving glasses. Add ice if desired. Enjoy.
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