I'm not a fan of overly sweet drinks, desserts, or TV hostesses. In fact, I usually drink my vodka straight, because at the end of the day I'm just a simple girl who likes to get kicked out of bars in three-inch heels. But since this is a PJ party and not a Motörhead concert, I figured, why not dress it up a little with a not-too-sweet blood orange mojito?
Adapted from "Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen: Cookin' for Trouble" (Ballantine Books Trade Paperbacks, 2011).
Heat a small pan over medium-high heat. Add the whole cardamom pods, and toast them for 30 seconds, until slightly golden and fragrant. Set aside.
Pour the vodka into a medium-sized pitcher and add the toasted cardamom pods, blood orange zest, and vanilla bean. Stir, cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. After the vodka has been infused, strain it and discard the cardamom, zest, and vanilla bean.
In a medium-sized pitcher, whisk the blood orange juice with the maple syrup, and set aside.
Pour 1 1/2 ounces of infused vodka over some ice cubes in each highball glass. Add 4 Thai basil leaves. Pour in 1/3 cup of maple blood-orange juice, and top with sparkling water. Repeat steps for all 12 cocktails.