behind the bar: annette joseph’s blood orange basil gimlet

February’s Behind the Bar is a mix of summer and winter. Blood oranges are available only in the coldest winter months, and basil, of course, is summery. If like me you freeze large bunches of basil during the summer months, you can dig into the freezer for this Blood Orange Basil Gimlet, provided by Atlanta-based stylist Annette Joseph. Later this month, Annette will launch a “Celebrity Cocktail of the Week” feature on her blog that promises a spectacular lineup that I can’t wait to see. In the meantime, I couldn’t resist asking Annette for her favorite cocktail. Learn more about Annette and her cocktail recipe after the jump. — Kristina

About Annette: Annette Joseph is a photo stylist/producer who specializes in lifestyle editorial images for major national magazines. She’s a regular lifestyle contributor on The Today Show and Better Mornings and does style events for Room&Board. Her work designing Gwyneth Paltrow’s Nashville apartment was featured on GOOP, and she was recently featured on Epicurious. Annette is currently working on her first book about stylish entertaining and a television show based on her work called All About Annette. When she’s not out on a morning run, doesn’t have her hands busy during a photoshoot and isn’t at her fabulous Genova apartment, you can find her on Twitter and Facebook. Annette lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two children.

Blood Orange Basil Gimlet

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. blood orange juice
  • 1/4 oz. basil syrup
  • garnish with a 1/2 slice blood orange and small basil leaf


Basil Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves


Simple Syrup Preparation: Bring to a boil, let sit until cool and strain into a glass measuring cup.

Cocktail Preparation: Pour ingredients, except garnish, into a martini shaker with ice. Shake well. Pour into a shallow gimlet glass, garnish and serve.

Images and styling by Kristina Gill. Orange ostrich thigh tray by RY Augousti.

Why Annette Loves This Cocktail

I love this cocktail because it reminds me of summer. Even though it’s wintery outside, I am inclined to make a summer cocktail to drive off the winter drearies. It makes me happy, and that’s what a cocktail is supposed to do, right? ;-)

Holly (The Apiarist)

I already feel very passionate about gimlets, and throwing basil and oranges into the mix makes me want to do a little dance. I am having friends over for dinner this weekend, and this looks like the perfect cocktail to start things off with. Thanks!


I don’t drink often at all, but can honestly say I loved this, and I love having a little bottle of basil syrup left over. I do feel compelled to say however that for the last photo, I just put the cocktail back into the shaker. I didn’t drink it all myself. LOL


I think this cocktail sounds lovely, but I think it’s a misnomer to call it a “gimlet”. “[A] real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime juice and nothing else.” – Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye. This is a unique cocktail that deserves a unique name.