The "w" in winter generally stands for "whiskey," but what if you're a cold-weather, clear-liquor kind of guy or gal? Try reaching for an ice-cold alcoholic lemonade. Take A Bao — the cleverly named Studio City restaurant specializing in the tasty and eponymous steamed Chinese bun filled with savory ingredients — has just the thing: Basil Lemonade. Made with Stoli Citrus, lemon and orange juices and fresh, hand-torn Thai basil leaves, this concoction will refresh after manic holiday shopping.
Basil Lemonade by Gavin Portsmouth
10 fresh Thai basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1.5 ounces simple syrup
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
0.5 ounces fresh orange juice
2.5 ounces Stoli Citrus
Muddle the hand-ripped basil leaves and sugar in a mixing glass. Add the remaining ingredients and a scoop of ice. Shake well for 10 seconds. Pour everything into a highball glass. Serve with a tall straw.
Take A Bao, 11838 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. (818) 691-7223; http://www.takeabao.com.
— Jessica Gelt