"I would like to try some Basil wine." Donald Stipanic, location unknown
With a couple of exceptions, most basil used for culinary purposes is a variety of Ocimum basilicum. The popular varieties are Sweet Basil, 'Crispum' or Lettuce-leaf Basil, Green Ruffles Basil, and 'Minimum' or Bush Basil, all with white flowers. Others are Purple Ruffles Basil, 'Purpurascens' or Dark Opal Basil, and 'Thyrsiflora' or Thai Basil, all with lavender flowers (although the latter can have white or lavender).
Basil is an annual herb belonging to the mint family, and like others in this family, basil can be identified by its square, hairy stems. There are over 40 known varieties of basil, of which Sweet Basil is perhaps the most commonly known and grown.
Basil Wine can be overpowering if too much basil is used, but correctly made can have a rich and spicy, mildly peppery flavor with a trace of mint and clove.
Wash fresh basil leaves and place in nylon straining bag and tie closed. Put all other ingredients except yeast in primary and stir well to dissolve. Cover primary and set aside 6-8 hours. Add nylon straining bag, activated yeast, recover primary, and set aside for 5 days. Taste and remove bag and discard leaves if basil flavor is sufficient. If not, leave bag in an extra day. Recover primary until s.g. drops to 1.015. Transfer liquid to secondary, top up if required and fit airlock. Ferment to dryness, then rack, top up and refit airlock. Repeat every 30 days until wine clears and no new sediments form during a 30-day period. Stabilize and sweeten to taste if desired (if sweetened, wait three weeks for any renewed fermentation to begin) and rack into bottles. Age 3 months before tasting. Serve chilled. [Author's own recipe]
My thanks to Donald Stipanic for inquiring about this wine.