The southern basil

Kate Bolt
Kate Bolt

3 pints (14.5 ounces each) canned peaches (homemade in light sugar syrup or store-bought canned peaches in 100% juice)

4 cups tonic

¾ cup lemon juice

6 cups bourbon

2 cups black tea

1 cup fresh basil, destemmed (with 1 cup extra for garnish)

2 fresh peaches, if available, sliced into 8 sections each, for garnish

Make the tea: Combine 2 cups boiling water with one tea bag of black tea and steep for one minute. Remove bag and add 1 cup basil. Steep for 15 minutes. Remove basil and cool the tea until needed.

Drain peaches from syrup, reserving liquid. Pour 3 cups of the peach syrup into a gallon container through fine mesh sieve to keep out any peach bits. Then add ¾ cup lemon juice, 6 cups bourbon, and 2 cups tea (again, pour the tea through a fine mesh sieve to keep out any leftover basil bits). Stir or shake to combine. When ready to serve, add 4 cups tonic and garnish with basil leaves in the serving container and peach slices on the side for individual cups. Muddle extra basil in each glass for more basil flavor.

Serves 20 (in a 10-ounce rocks glass filled halfway with ice).

By Kate Bolt, #livinglark
To buy a copy of Kate’s new book, Lark: Cocktails, go to