Corn and tequila seem like obvious companions (yeah, we’re looking at you, Mexican street corn + margaritas). But why consume them separately when you can put them together?
For the “Kernel of Truth,” we muddled corn, cut fresh from the cob, with tequila, lime juice, basil oil, a bit of simple syrup, and a glug of bitter Suze (a bright yellow gentian liqueur) for its floral and citrus complexity and color.
The resulting cocktail is well balanced, refreshing, and a perfect celebration of late summer’s bounty of sweet corn.
Kernel of Truth
Yield: 1 cocktail
2 ounces tequila
1 ounce Suze
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce rich simple syrup
Kernels cut from 1 ear of corn, raw (about 3/4 cup)
3 drops basil oil*
Add corn kernels and lime juice to the bottom of your shaker. Muddle the heck out of it to extract as much corn milk as possible.
Add tequila, Suze, simple syrup, and basil oil. Top with ice and shake vigorously.
Double strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with lime zest.
*To Make Basil Oil: Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup fresh basil leaves and boil for approximately 10 seconds. Remove the leaves with a slotted spoon and quickly put them in an ice water bath. Once cool, drain leaves and squeeze out any excess liquid. Puree the basil with 1/2 cup olive oil, then filter the puree through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Let the mixture sit for a couple of hours, which will allow additional fine particulate to settle at the bottom. Then transfer to a glass bitters bottle, being careful to leave the particulate behind. Store in the refrigerator.