Test Kitchen - Basil Seed Drink

Funny thing when I picked last week's Test Kitchen ingredient of basil seed - I told myself that I wouldn't use it for a drink. After all, that's the only way I knew it was used, and I figured the point was to go out of my comfort zone whenever I pick a Test Kitchen ingredient. However, after much research, I discovered that unfortunately, that's just about how people use the seed in culinary creations. I had always seen it in cans at Vietnamese supermarkets when I was younger (and also tricked my younger brother into thinking they were the eyes of children who misbehaved...yeah I was a bully) but never desired to eat them. They looked like frog spawn! Now, though, it seems like they have some health benefits so people are picking them up again as they are with chia seeds. They still look weird and the texture takes some getting used to but perhaps you'll be brave and make this recipe below!

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 2 drinks)

  • 1 tsp basil seed
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1 chunk ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1.5 tbsps sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup rosewater

Step 2: Prepping ingredients
This is an easy drink. In a small saucepan, heat up all but 1/4 cup of the water. Combine with ginger, sugar, and honey until everything dissolves. Turn off heat to let cool. Rinse basil seed in a fine strainer before placing into 1/4 cup of water. Let sit for several minutes while it puffs up with its gelatinous material. Forgive my picture of the saucepan - I had used a lavender vanilla bean sugar instead of granulated so there were stray matters.

Step 3: Finishing
Either divide evenly between two cups or combine into one large container to split later the rosewater, seeds, and honey mixture. Stir well and chill before serving. If you wish to drink immediately, add crushed ice. Enjoy!

This week's Test Kitchen ingredient: cannellini beans
I feel like there are way too many beans out there to potentially cook with. That much was made glaringly apparent when we visited a farm that had dozens of varieties that we hadn't even heard of. This week, we'll need to do something with cannellini beans, these Italian white kidney beans that you might have eaten before. Tell us what your thoughts are by commenting on the picture when it goes up!

Photography by Minerva Thai.



  1. I have to say I'm pretty sure I couldn't drink that. Might taste delicious, but it looks like a lab experiment go awry! But then, I get squeamish drinking boba tea.

    How was it?

    1. If you get squeamish about boba, you wouldn't like this! It's much more squishy & chewy with a crunch inside. I actually prefer boba over this one though the liquid itself was tasty. Perhaps you can just make that without adding basil seed? =]