The Southern Basil
Serves 20 (in a 10 oz. rocks glass filled halfway with ice)
3 pint (14.5 ounces each) size cans peaches (homemade in light sugar syrup or store-bought canned peaches in 100% juice)
4 c tonic
¾ c lemon juice
6 c bourbon
2 c black tea
1 c fresh basil, destemmed (with 1 c extra -- for garnish)
2 fresh peaches, if available, sliced into 8 sections each -- for garnish)
Make the tea: Combine 2 cups boiling water with one tea bag of black tea and steep for one minute. Remove bag and add 1 cup basil. Steep for 15 minutes. Remove basil and cool the tea until needed.
Drain peaches from syrup, reserving liquid. Pour 3 cups of the peach syrup into a gallon container through fine mesh sieve to keep out any peach bits. Then add ¾ cup lemon juice, 6 cups bourbon, and 2 cups tea (again, pour the tea through a fine mesh sieve to keep out any leftover basil bits). Stir or shake to combine. When ready to serve, add 4 cups tonic and garnish with basil leaves in the serving container and peach slices on the side for individual cups. Muddle extra basil in each glass for more basil flavor.