Basil Gin Smash: A Gem Among Cocktails

Brandy O'Neill | Nutmeg Nanny

Fresh basil makes this Basil Gin Smash something special. This cocktail packs a punch in flavor and boozy goodness!

Basil Gin Smash Photo

About a month ago I bought a huge bag of basil from the grocery store. I hate to let my herbs go to waste, but most of the time they spoil before I can use them all. Trust me, this is not a proud moment in my house. Nothing is worse than reaching in for some fresh basil and seeing black. Am I right? 

This time I took my basil and put it in a glass jar of water. Thinking it would probably last a few days longer if I did it this way. To my surprise it’s still alive! In fact I just noticed the other day that there are roots growing from the stem.  I didn’t know this could happen, but I’m always happy when the gardening Gods show up and surprise me.  I’m guessing I could plant the stems now but I sort of like having it on hand in my house. I’m going to test it out and see how long it lasts.

Now, what to do with all this basil? I have already made my fill of pesto, so it’s time to put it to use in a cocktail!

Basil Gin Smash Picture

If you haven’t noticed by now I’m a huge fan of fresh herbs in cocktails. What can I say, they just go together. Besides, most gin has minor notes of citrus and herbs so why not enhance that?

The best part about this drink is that it’s simple to put together and is full of flavor! The cocktail is aromatic, slightly sweet on the tongue and the basil adds just a slight hint of anise.

In case you are wondering, I used Bluecoat gin and it worked out lovely. Hendrick’s would be a delicious choice as well.

One thing I should note is that this drink is potent. It’s mostly just gin so make sure to consume carefully. This baby packs a punch! 

  1 Servings


  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 2 ounces lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 4 ounces good quality gin
  • ice cubes


  1. In a cocktail shaker add basil leaves, simple syrup and lemon juice.
  2. Using a wooden muddler, crush the basil till bruised and fragrant. You will notice the liquid will start to turn slight green in color.
  3. Pour in gin and ice cubes. Add top to the shaker and give the drink a good shake until the outside of the cocktail shaker is freezing cold. I always know when to stop because it starts to get too cold to hold any longer.
  4. Strain into a short cocktail glass, add additional ice and garnish with basil leave if desired. 


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Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (96 Votes)
Source: Jorg Meyer
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About Brandy

Brandy loves all things culinary, as documented on Nutmeg Nanny. But we're especially excited for her boozy cocktails and kid-friendly mocktails as our Cocktails and Mocktails Fanatic.

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    Great cocktail. Citrus & sweetness with a great herbal/vegetal note. Very refreshing!


    1 question are you using the whole plants roots and all or just stems with leaves?


    This sounds wonderful! I personally list gin as my favourite alcohol, so you can be sure I will be trying this one out!