1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1 dash Celery Bitters (can substitute w/ Orange)
Stir with ice and strain into a champagne flute. Add 1 tsp of pre-swelled and strained Thai basil seed. Top off with champagne or cava.
A few weeks ago, I was introduced to the Asian beverage called "Basil Seed Drink" at the Green Goddess Restaurant in New Orleans and knew that I needed some for cocktail purposes. The sweetened beverage came in a can and contained what looked like tapioca pearls a la bubble tea. Except these had a black center that made them look like frog eggs, due to the presence of the basil seed in the center.
Once back home, I tried to find the canned beverage to no avail. Through the internet, I learned that it was simple to make the beverage or prep the seeds in one's kitchen. Turns out that the seeds rapidly swell up with a jelly-like coat on their own and do not need to be encapsulated in any sort of gelatin droplet or other. The seed is not the standard Italian basil but a special Thai varietal that is used in desserts and drinks from Thailand to India. Once I learned that it was also called tukmaria, sabja, or falooda seed, I was able to locate some at a nearby Indian spice shop.
The Chartreuse worked with the celery bitters to give some intriguing herbal notes to the drink and the Chartreuse donated a green pond-like hue as well. The rhum agricole added a little funkiness to the mix and the Maraschino liqueur added some sweetness and fruitiness to round out the drink. The basil seeds mainly floated but a few sank only to catch enough champagne bubbles to rise to the surface again. The seeds added an interesting visual and textural garnish component to the drink without adding that much flavor-wise. I am not sure if swelling the seeds in something other than water would change that aspect.
Cross-posted to the Mixoloseum Blog.