Here’s To Summer Happy Hour: The Lonsdale

Over the last couple of weeks, San Diego’s weather has made its decisive “no more rain for six months” move into our long summer. And much like the necessary wardrobe alterations, the change of seasons also calls for a switch to more “summery” drinks.

For the long, warm afternoons I was looking for something new and this evening The Beloved mentioned that our basil plant was doing pretty well. That sparked a memory and I found the Lonsdale in my collection of drink recipes and decided to go for it.


  • 1.5 oz gin
  • 0.75 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz apple juice
  • 0.25 oz honey
  • 2 basil leaves, torn

Vigorously shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with a basil leaf.


The apple juice and honey provide a nice mellowing against the bright gin and lemon. The fresh basil evokes a powerful “summer” flavor. I went for Bombay Sapphire instead of the potentially overpowering Hendrick’s. Perfect on a summer-ish evening. The picture is from my second one… :)


148 thoughts on “Here’s To Summer Happy Hour: The Lonsdale

  1. What summer – here on the coast it’s still May Grey slithering into June Gloom, with sidecar of Fog. Can’t wait for July, then you can coax me into one of those Lonsdales.

  2. The basil wasn’t too powerful? I’m a little chary about strong herbal flavors in drinks, which is why I generally don’t like merlots and their “grassy notes.” It looks lovely, however.

  3. My question is do you always have everything on hand to make the drinks? Or do you have to sometimes make a run to the store. I always only have the basics..rum, vodka and tequila. Well also tequila rose because I love it!

    • That is funny…that you have all the liquor on hand, bit none of the other stuff. Made me laugh… Probably because Ot reminded me, of me. :-)

  4. My question is do you always have everything on hand to make the drinks? Or do you have to sometimes make a run to the store. I always only have the basics..rum, vodka and tequila. Well also tequila rose because I love it!

    • I have almost all the stuff on hand, but the our supplies have been built up over a long time. Sometimes there will be a special recipe and I’ll have to make a list for the next time I’m shopping. We try to use stuff like mint (or in this case basil) when it’s fresh in our garden. :)

  5. You’re the perfect person: what’s up with dark rum? I’ve had spiced rum but is there really a difference between “white” (or clear) rum and a dark rum out there? My shops seem to only carry clear, spiced and coconut but a recipe calls for dark rum…Any thoughts when you have time, oh guru of guzzling.

    • I’m not Steve Betz but I do play one on TV :)

      Anyway, yes there is a big difference. I’d be really surprised if your liquor store didn’t carry Myer’s Rum, a very ubiquitous dark rum.

      • I shall look for this “Myers.” Most ppl aren’t aware of exactly HOW remotely I live…But it could be there & I didn’t even know it was rum :)

        • Yes — JA is right on (as I knew he’d be). Big big difference between white and dark. Myers is good. Stay away from “spiced” though — unless you want that in particular.

          • I’ve enjoyed some coconut rum OFTEN and spiced is “okay” but I wanted dark for a recipe and wasn’t sure if it was “necessary” or just for looks. TY!

    • Mmmm, my favorite dark rum is from Venezuela. Ron Anejo. Picked it up when I was down there on business once. Wish I had brought more of it home.

      • Hate to be pedantic, but I don’t want people to be mislead. Ron Anejo is neither a dark rum nor a brand. Much like you can get anejo tequilla, it merely means ‘aged’ and there really isn’t much agreement on just how aged it has to be before you can call it anejo. There are lots of brands of anejo rum. The ‘ron’ part I think is just like an honorific.

        And while anejo rums are darker, they aren’t as dark as a real dark rum, like Myers, which is almost black. They are also generally a little sweeter, using more molasses in their production. Gosling’s Black Seal rum is another popular rum, used often in the famous Dark ‘n’ Stormy (dark rum & ginger beer)

    • Simple — they were actually a gift from an old Vox-neighbor who was clearing out a relative’s house and thought that I might like them. Probably from the 20s or 30s. They make us feel very posh… ;)

  6. Grats for being freshly pressed! Bombay Sapphire sounds delicious. Oh, and those other ingredients, too. I shall try this when I get over being shaken and strained.

  7. Oooh I love gin, I’ll have to try this one. Sounds like the perfect end to a warm sunny day (and here in Portland the sun has made a grand entrance as well!) While I don’t have any cocktail recipes yet, I do have a blog, if you’re curious check it out :) Congrats on being freshly pressed!

    • HA — it’s funny, as we’ve gotten better at cocktails, I find I don’t like a lot of the one’s featured in restaurants. Definitely too sweet!

  8. I love your blog. I think we’re experiencing California weather here in Toronto, right now. We set a record high of 30 degrees celcius, yesterday. Congratulations on being ‘freshly pressed’.

  9. I grew up in SoCali, haven’t lived in San Diego in almost 20 years now. I’m in New England- and oh my is it hot! We were in the 80s today, and this drink would have been perfect. I love gin, and this drink looks like a real treat!

    • 5th — one of my new favorites is the gin-gin mule. Muddle mint in lime juice and simple syrup. Add gin and ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with mint. Awesomely awesome.

  10. Reblogged this on girlonahandcycle and commented:
    oh look – something I may need to try out if this great weather continues past today, I just need to get apple juice……maybe! ; )

  11. I rarely have anything alcohol to drink….but this makes me want to find a veranda and order a couple of them.

  12. wow! That is great! I wanna taste the Lonsdale.
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
    awesome post!

  13. Yum! My boyfriend loves gin, so this may be a way to make it palatable for me. I’m also in San Diego and am excited about the weather this weekend. Thanks for the tip!

  14. This sounds fabulous! I am usually more of a tequila fan as gin tends to scare me a bit because of its strong bouquet. However, this sounds like something I just have to try. Thanks for posting this concoction. I look forward to delving a little deeper into what your blog has to offer.

    • F…WW — thanks for stopping by! I know a lot of people that don’t like gin for similar reasons. Maybe this drink could make you a believer! :)

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