Lemon Basil Smash + Herb Infused Cocktails

By Kate Riley May 21, 2020

I love herb infused cocktails. As I write this post the Thursday evening before Memorial Day Weekend, I am sipping this delicious Lemon Basil Smash cocktail concoction! A local restaurant in my town makes a rosemary infused grapefruit cocktail that I love, and I can’t turn down a mint julep! Any cocktail that mixes citrus with fresh herbs is a favorite, especially in summer!

There’s something about sipping a herb infused cocktail right before a barbeque that just sets the mood as a prelude to a summer feast combining grilled meats and garden vegetables. This simple preparation using a lemon + basil infused simple syrup + citron vodka combo is a favorite of mine.


This simple recipe combines basil infused simple syrup (instructions below) with citron vodka and a squeeze of lemon with smashed fresh basil over tons of ice. It’s so light and delicious!

To make this cocktail, gather these ingredients: 1) citron vodka 2) fresh lemon, 3) fresh basil, 4) granulated sugar, 5) ice 6) cocktail shaker 7) measuring tool for ounces, and 8) cocktail picks (optional).

To make the basil infused simple syrup, combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water and a small handful (6-8 leaves) of fresh basil. Bring to a boil in a saucepan and boil for 1 minute to melt sugar. Stir, remove from heat, and allow to cool. Pour mixture over mesh strainer (to remove basil) into glass container. Simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

The decorative cocktail pick is optional, to make it simply combine a slice of lemon with a fresh basil leaf and place it in each glass.



To make one lemon basil smash, combine 2 cups of ice in a cocktail shaker with 2 oz. of citron vodka, ¾ oz. of basil infused simple syrup, and a few fresh basil leaves. Add a squeeze of half a lemon.


Shake vigorously and pour the entire mixture into an old fashioned style glass. Enjoy!


If you’re thirsting for more, here are a few more citrus/fruit + herb cocktail medleys to mix:

honeydew melon + basil = honeydew spritzer

cucumber + celery + lime + lemongrass = grassed word

basil + lime + peach + ginger = eternal sunshine

cherries + mint = cherry mint julep

lavender + lemon + basil =  summer garden gin fizz

lime + watermelon + mint = watermelon mojito


Cheers! Have a great weekend everyone!

Corner Solution: Colorful Arm Chairs

By Kate Riley May 19, 2020

I had an empty corner in my studio where I had been storing old frames and art prints. I made it more interesting by displaying the art and adding a new arm chair. I was torn between the rose color (beautiful, feminine) and the green (richer, bolder) and settled on the green velvet. I’m happy I chose the green. Last year, I fell in love with the textiles of Peru on my trip to Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The handmade pillow cover I bought at a textile market finally found the perfect home.

The artwork shown is mostly mine. From left to right, the Kauai Palm is a print I had enlarged on canvas many years ago (seen here) but it’s available in blue/green tones in the art shop. Also shown is Ko’Olina Lagoon in black and white and Joshua Tree. Below them is a vintage palm tree print, and Puerto Rico Palm, shown in 16×20. Taped to the closet is Black Sand I & II.

I one who believes a corner in every home deserve a colorful arm chair, one’s that’s happy and inviting, as if it’s communicating to the observer to come closer, to sit and stay awhile. Corners beg for accent chairs, don’t they? The only thing that’s missing from my corner is a giant stack of magazines and half read books, all with tabbed pages indicating where I left off the last time I read them.

Should you feel the same, here’s a few more colorful arm chairs that might catch your interest, all under $300.

rust + gold (multiple colors) / carncome spice / rose pink

modern mustard / sage mid century / merel orange (also teal)

green velvet / belz blue / blue + gold

blue tweed / aurla green / plum tufted


Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)