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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Xanadu Cocktail: Basil and Grapefruit


Last week, I was in Asheville North Carolina with a few of my very favorite bloggers. I do travel quite a bit, so when I have a chance to invite along Diane and Todd of White On Rice, I always do. And has nothing to do with how fantastic, gorgeous and radiant I look when the duo works their camera magic…

(Scott and I last month at Todd and Diane’s house)

Though is nice to have a friend that makes you look goooood.

Then, there are bloggers whom I’ve only have known through pixels, but thought it would be really interesting to meet in person, like these two:

(Helen of Tartelette and Brian of The Food Geek)

Oh, you wonder at what Brian is eating? That be a Bacon-Egg-Croissant with Homemade Chipotle Grits from Sunny Point. Feast Your Eyes.


And I got to meet some new friends. From the left is Alison of The Humble Gourmand , Brian of The Food Geek, Tami of Running with Tweezers, and Diane and to the right of me Todd of White on Rice.

(Helen if you’re reading this, I think you’ll understand and appreciate why this photo is cropped just so, sparing you and your lovely bosom from embarrassment.) <- i can’t believe i just typed that

On our trip, I did discover that I don’t belong in a restaurant kitchen, for starters they frown upon hair jewelry and whispy bangs.


Oh, yeah. Hot pink nail polish wouldn’t work with a hairnet.

But, a chef/blogger Iron Chef-like competition is much more fun when you’re working with a hot, young chef and sneaking a few glugs of cooking wine in little plastic condiment cups…


Speaking of alcohol, I think we had plenty of it, and the best was artisan beer brewed by a Chinese man born in Jamaica who owns a Scottish brewing company called Highland Brewing Company. But then we topped his beer off with hand-made ice cream by Ultimate Ice Cream Company.



Oh, so much for a job at the brewery…


Apparently I gave too much ___. <– my husband made me delete that word

The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa was so gracious to host our group, and so I decided to return the favor and treat them all to an Japanese Artisan Sake Tasting, courtesy of Vine Connections. Look at the sea of glasses!




See what I mean about Diane and Todd making me look so damn good, even when I’m drunk off my ass?

Even Dodie, who organized our entire trip, couldn’t help but fall under Diane’s magical beauty spell…


Anyways, I have more to share…including photos and stories about goats, cattle and trout…but another time. I need to make myself a cocktail!

Here’s a recipe for you, from Grove Park Inn – this Xanadu cocktail is a must-try. The flavor combination of fresh grapefruit juice and basil leaves are incredible – perfect for hot weather.


Xanadu Cocktail: Basil and Grapefruit

recipe from Grove Park Inn, Asheville North Carolina

2 basil leaves
1/2 grapefruit, juiced
1 1/2 ounce Hendricks Gin
1/4 ounce simple syrup
club soda
1 thin slice grapefruit

In a rocks glass, muddle 1 basil leaf with symple syrup. Fill the glass with ice. Add fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and gin. Stir and top with club soda. Garnish with basil leaf and sliced grapefruit.


29 Responses to “Xanadu Cocktail: Basil and Grapefruit”

  1. Connie — 7/2/09 @ 2:15 pm

    I wish I could reach into my monitor and drink that cocktail.

    p.s. your pictures are great.

  2. Ravenous Couple — 7/2/09 @ 2:46 pm

    gorgeous protraits..and of course drinks look great too.

  3. Frank — 7/2/09 @ 3:02 pm

    Sounds good. I’ll bet it would be better with pink grapefruit!

  4. Very interesting, and beautiful pictures. I need a drink, like yours… it’s so hot here!

  5. Jean — 7/2/09 @ 6:18 pm

    Bartender, just keep ‘em comin’!

  6. Toni — 7/2/09 @ 6:22 pm

    Ashville is on my “to do” list, for sure. And so is that drink! Sorry I missed you at Todd and Diane’s…..

  7. Diana — 7/2/09 @ 8:14 pm

    Beer Float!? I actually don’t like root beer or coke floats, but a beer float is intriguing. Let’s have an awesome food blogger day in Seattle. I just want to jump into those photos, it looks like so much fun!

  8. Damn you and Scott make a gorgeous couple! Duh, look at your cute boys!

    You are amazing, still able to give an incredible sake tasting after that amazing drinking/eating feast at Horizon. I barely stood up, thank god for auto-focus and Aperature priority settings.
    The cocktail looks beautiful! just like I remember it…..now, thirsty.

  9. Dana McCauley — 7/2/09 @ 10:52 pm

    Love grapefruit! I have all of these ingredients in the house and I think I’ll make one of these cocktails tomorrow night after I get the weeds pulled in my veggie garden. A worthy reward I think!

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Gaby — 7/2/09 @ 11:57 pm

    Wow it all looks so fabulous… and I am going to make that cocktail tonight!

  11. Tartelette — 7/3/09 @ 1:44 am

    Yes! Thanks for cropping it out, even it’s my tank top showing it still looks like I am a show girl :) I did cropp mine too!! Not sure my readers were that ready for the “up and away” me!!

    Ah, yes, the lovely libations of this trip. I have huge blanks from that meal after course 4!

    Totally agree about Diane and Todd and their talent to photograph and make us look purr-ty.

    Thank you for the opportunity and all that I am walking away with. It’s like I’ve been re-plugged and re-charged, ready to go!

  12. Divina — 7/3/09 @ 3:55 am

    Just want to drop a note that I enjoy reading your website as well as your photography. Thank you for the inspiration.

  13. Wow sounds and looks like a blast! Going to re-create the cocktail this evening for all! Thanks for sharingx

  14. Rasa Malaysia — 7/3/09 @ 1:23 pm

    Nice smile and teeth (the cover shot). BTW, I need to get Diane to take some portrait shots for me…

  15. The Culinary Sherpas — 7/3/09 @ 1:53 pm

    I LOVE Dodie. Isn’t she an angel!!!! Did you eat at The Admiral?????? The Early Girl??????? LOVE the shrimp and grits at Sunny Point.

  16. Asianmommy — 7/3/09 @ 5:52 pm

    Looks like a fun time!

  17. Great to be able to gawk at YOU for a change ;PPP

  18. Sues — 7/3/09 @ 11:57 pm

    I LOVE basil in my drinks and I’m really into grapefruit too, so I’m sure I’d love this. Um, and that egg and bacon croissant looks absolutely amazing!

  19. Cynthia — 7/5/09 @ 3:49 am

    Ah, the multi-culturalism that makes of C’bean people – A man of Chinese descent, born in Jamaica and owning a Scottish brewing company. Things that make me smile :)

  20. Javier — 7/5/09 @ 6:53 pm

    ha, ha…Xanadu as in Citizen Kane?

    my first thoughts on your title–

  21. Susan C — 7/6/09 @ 9:54 am

    Ooh, ooh – I have grapefruit and basil growing in the back yard. Now all I need is a bottle of that gin. Xanadu, here I come!

  22. Alta — 7/6/09 @ 10:44 am

    I so want that drink! Sounds refreshing. And as for the photos, they look great!

  23. Barry — 7/6/09 @ 12:23 pm

    Was excited to give this a try and then I saw “grapefruit juice” which killed it for me. I make a basil cocktail (I refuse to call it a martini).

    Muddle a handful of basil in in a cocktail shaker with about 3/4 tb of agave nectar and juice from one lime. Add ice, and vodka (3 oz. or so)and shake and strain into a glass of your choice. Adjust to your tastes.

  24. Katerina — 7/8/09 @ 4:20 pm

    This sounds great! When citrus is abundant I make a really simple salad of grapefruit, orange and basil. Delicious!

  25. Dang, these are great photos! Plus, you’re photogenic. I’ve seen a few pics of the boys too and they are pretty darn cute.

    • Lissa — 8/19/09 @ 12:21 pm

      Grapefruit is my newest favorite ingredient. So of course I had to try this recipe. I whipped up a batch last night for myself and the Hub. It was wonderful. I’ve played with putting basil in drinks before but especially like it with the grapefruit juice. (I think next time I’ll omit the simple syrup because I don’t mind the slight bitterness of the grapefruit.)

  26. anthony — 8/13/10 @ 3:24 pm

    basil in a cocktail. interesting, never thought about that.

  27. Heide M. — 12/17/12 @ 3:49 pm

    This cocktail looks refreshing, wish I had a sip.

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