I love adding basil simple syrup to cocktails and actually prefer it to muddling basil in a drink. The essence of the basil is still very strong but there's no bite. And of course, with a mild preference for drinks that lean to the sweet side, this fresh herb/sugar combo hits the spot. Step 1: Choose a package of organic basil and wash the bushel well. Remove the leaves from the stems, setting aside half the leaves for garnishes or other recipes.
Step 2: Combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar, and add about a cup of very loosely packed basil. This will produce enough simple syrup for a over a dozen cocktails, so adjust the measurements to 1/2 cup or less if you aren't making many drinks. This simple syrup will go a long way.
Step 3: Pour the leaves and liquid through a filter to strain out the basil, then cool the simple syrup and refrigerate. I keep mine for a week.