This Basil Panna Cotta (With Gin and Lime Syrup!) Is What’s Been Missing in Your Cocktail Parties

August 29, 2019

Hosting a cocktail party doesn’t have to be intimidating. On this episode of Cooking with Kimmie, we prove just how easy it is to prepare a sophisticated drink and dessert pairing. David Ong of The Curator drops by to teach us a few bar tricks—including how to use one of those cool shakers—as he guides us through how to make a frothy Ramos Gin Fizz

The real otp.

Kimmie also shows us how to make Basil Panna Cotta with Gin and Lime Syrup to partner with the cocktail. The light dessert kind of tastes like pasta, some members of the team note. (It’s not at all a deal-breaker, by the way. Who doesn’t love pasta?) Plus, the syrup gives it an extra oomph, with the alcohol balancing out the sweetness.

For both recipes, we used Full Circle Craft Distiller Co.‘s flagship ARC Botanical Gin. The spirit is clean and balanced; and we love how its floral and citrus-y taste (it’s a blend of 28 botanicals) really comes through. (Pro-tip: it’s really great in a classic G&T.)  It’s locally made, but uses world-class ingredients, such as its premium Cristalco-brand base alcohol French winter wheat from the Champagne region. The spirit is distilled for eight hours in a state-of-the-art 450-liter still crafted by CARL in Germany. You can visit their high-grade (and honestly gorgeous) distillery in Laguna for tours and events later this year.

P.S. We get your concern. Full Circle Craft Distillers Co. is PEZA-registered; and they are fully licensed and certified by the FDA to produce their artisanal spirits (including their Barrel Reserve Gin and Lava Rock Vodka).

Basil Panna Cotta with Gin and Lime Syrup

  • Serves: 4 people
  • Active time: 45 mins
  • Total time: 45 mins + 4 hrs/overnight
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Special tools: Food processor/blender, panna cotta molds


Basil Extract

  • ¾ cup basil leaves

Panna Cotta

  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 2 ¼ tsp. gelatin
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • ¼ cup basil extract

Gin and Lime Syrup

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. lime zest, sliced finely
  • ¼ cup gin


  1. For the basil extract, heat a pot of water and prepare an ice bath.
  2. Add the basil into the hot water and blanch for no longer than 30 seconds or until the leaves wilt and turn a bright green.
  3. Immediately remove basil from hot water and shock in ice water.
  4. Drain the basil from the ice bath and place in a blender or food processor, and blitz for 3 minutes or until completely processed, adding water by the tablespoon if needed.
  5. Take pureed basil mixture and strain into a bowl, pressing out as much liquid from the leaves as possible.
  6. Set aside until needed.
  7. In a saucepan, add the milk then sprinkle gelatin over to let gelatin soften, about 5 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat to medium-low, then add the sugar.
  9. Heat over low heat until gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved.
  10. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl or pitcher.
  11. Whisk in cream and basil extract until well combined, then let mixture cool to room temperature.
  12. Transfer mixture to molds, about ½ cup of liquid per panna cotta, then set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  13. For the syrup, add sugar, water, and lime zest to a small pot over medium-high heat.
  14. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved and lime zest has softened, about 5 minutes.
  15. Remove from heat then let cool completely.
  16. Whisk gin into the cooled syrup and set aside for serving.
  17. To serve, unmold panna cottas and spoon over gin and lime syrup.
  18. Alternatively, set panna cottas in glasses, then spoon syrup over before serving.​
Jica Simpas Jica Simpas

Jica hopes that by writing about food she'll actually learn how to cook. But for now, she'll happily just eat everything—especially cookies.

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