Saturday, 12:45 AM

Saturday, 12:45 AM

I’m prone to insomnia, and I used to fight it. Now, I lean into it by whipping out the laptop, by lighting up something that’s not too stimulating, and by making a couple glasses of this low-alcohol cocktail. It’s as easy to sip at 5 PM as it is at 12:45 AM; and it takes a whole two minutes to put together. If you have a vermouth that’s particularly aromatic feel free to skip the sherry. You can really put your foot in this drink — a small wedge of grapefruit is an excellent stand-in for lemon; mint can easily take the place of basil; and mezcal would make a sophisticated swap-out for gin. Serves 1, generously (but I always end up drinking 2).


  • ¼ fresh lemon
  • 2 basil leaves, optional
  • Simple syrup, to taste (I like 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1½ fl oz dry white vermouth
  • ¼ fl oz dry sherry (skip if your vermouth is bougie)
  • ½ fl oz gin (I like Tanqueray in this)
  • Several dashes of potent bitters (I love Moondog Latin or Exorcism in this)
  • Ice cubes
  • Mineral water (I usually have Topo Chico or Perrier)


  1. In a big glass, muddle lemon with basil leaves, if using. Add simple syrup, vermouth, sherry (if using), gin, bitters, and ice. Mix well then top with mineral water. Sip slowly.
  2. If you wish to double it, which I do, simply muddle lemon and basil in a cocktail pitcher instead. Add simple syrup, vermouth, sherry, gin, and bitters then mix well. Strain into a glass then to the glass add ice and mineral water. Stir and enjoy.

Pair With:


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