This ones for my friend Dina. She says she only likes the classic version but I'm working on that :)
2 lemongrass stalks, extra pieces for garnish
Big handful of mint (15 mint leaves), plus 2 sprigs for garnish
8 basil leaves, chopped
5-6 teaspoons sugar
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus 2 slices for garnish
6 tablespoons white rum
8 tablespoons sparkling water, more as needed
Instructions: Peel off the outer layers of the lemongrass. Use the back of a chef’s knife to (carefully and safely) bash the inner tender parts. This will release the lemongrass oils and make it more flavorful and fragrant. Chop up the the lemongrass, this should yield about 3 tablespoons.
In a cocktail shaker, combine the lemongrass, mint, basil and sugar. Muddle with a cocktail muddler or the back of a large spoon. Add the lime juice, rum and a handful of ice. Shake well.
Prepare 2 glasses with (more) crushed ice. Strain the cocktail mixture into the glasses, adding a small spoonful of the muddled herbs.
Top with sparkling water and garnish each glass with a sprig of mint and a 4-inch piece of the lemongrass stalk. Add more sugar to taste if you would like your cocktail sweeter.