This basil margarita is light, refreshing, and fabulously herbaceous. Who doesn’t love the sweet, slightly spicy, herbaceous flavor that reminds us all of Italy!
Do you have a favorite cocktail? Well, margaritas are on the top of my top 3 list of fav’s. I love the sweet, fruity, lemon-limey, just a bit of orange flavor of these wonderful cocktails. Another thing that I adore about these cocktails is how they can be easily influenced and transformed with a few simple ingredients.
Easy Basil Margarita Recipe
This margarita has all of the wonderful attributes of a classic margarita, only transformed by my favorite herb, basil. The flavor is a marriage made in heaven. The herbaceous quality and the nuances of mint, black pepper, and a touch of anise create a cocktail that is simple yet deliciously complex!
7 ingredients, a cocktail shaker, and a simple muddler are all you need to enjoy this fabulous drink.
Try my pineapple margarita during those hot dog days of summer and my cranberry margarita in the fall!
Ingredients for Basil Margarita
- Fresh Lime Juice
- A Squeeze of Fresh Orange Juice
- Agave Syrup or Simple Syrup
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Triple Sec
What Kind Of Basil Do You Use For Cocktails?
When you buy fresh basil at the grocery store, you’re likely buying “sweet basil.” It’s perfect in this recipe. It has a slightly spicy and sweet flavor.
- Sweet Basil vs. Genovese: If you grow fresh basil in your garden, there are so many other options. I grow ‘Genovese’ in my garden and it’s wonderful in this basil cocktail. It’s a bit more aromatic than sweet basil.
- Lemon Basil: If you happen to grow a lemon basil variety such as ‘Mrs. Burns’ and ‘Sweet Dani’, would be incredible in this cocktail and would add a whole new layer of flavor. (Note to self: plant one of these varieties next year!)
- Thai basil: This variety is spicy, with a bit more licorice-like flavor, and overall is stronger and bolder than the other basils’ mentioned above.
How Do You Muddle Basil For A Drink?
It’s easy peasy but there is a simple technique that’s important to use, with delicate herbs, to create the best-flavored cocktail.
Equipment You’ll Need:
- Muddler. The first thing you need to know is that all muddlers are not the same. Ideally, you want to use a flat bottom, hardwood muddler. If you don’t have one, you can use a wooden spoon. What you don’t want to use is a metal muddler that has sharp points or tips on the flat end of it. This is a great muddle, just not for this delicate job.
- Cocktail Shaker Or… In a tall sturdy glass or cocktail shaker. Flat bottom muddler (not the type that has sharp points/tips on bottom) or a wooden spoon.
- Add basil leaves to the bottom of the glass. Gently press down on leaves and give a few twists.
- You don’t want to tear the leaves, as this will release chlorophyll. Chlorophyll will create a more bitter cocktail. What you’re trying to do is squeeze and add pressure to extract the oils from the basil. As you are muddling the herb, you should begin to smell it.
- Lemon: Muddle a few slices of lemon. then add the basil leaves and muddle gently as described above.
- Cucumber: Muddle a 3-inch piece of cucumber that has been peeled, seeded, and diced. Then add the basil leaves and gently muddle them on top of the cucumber. Save a round cut slice for garnish.
- Strawberry, Blueberry, Blackberry, Raspberry: Most berries work wonderfully in this cocktail. Muddle whichever berries you choose, then add the basil leaves and muddle as instructed above.
- Watermelon: Watermelon blends particularly well in this margarita. Simply add 1-2 ounces of fresh watermelon juice to the mix.
- To Yield Watermelon Juice From The Fruit: Using a large spoon, scoop the watermelon flesh into a blender. Blend for about thirty seconds, and you have watermelon juice.
More Refreshing Summer Cocktail Recipes
If you make this refreshing cocktail, I’d it if you snapped a photo and tagged me on Instagram, @gonna_want_seconds, or please share this recipe on Pinterest, Facebook, or Yummly! I really appreciate your support, my friends! Hey, are you getting my totally free, no-strings attached newsletter? 🥰
- 1/4 cup granulate sugar
- limes, cut into wedges
- 3-4 large fresh basil leaves
- 1 1/2 ounces tequila
- 2 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
- 1 ounce agave syrup
- 1 ounce water
- 1/4 ounce triple sec
- In a shallow plate or rimmed plate, spread out 1/4 cup of granulated sugar.
- Rub the rim of glass with a lime wedge.
- Dip glass into the granulated sugar. Repeat with the remaining glasses.
- Place the basil leaves (3-4 large) at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Gently press down on leaves and give a few twists.
- Fill cocktail shaker with ice (on top of the muddled basil). Add the rest of the ingredients. Shake vigorously.
- Place strainer over top of cocktail shaker and pour into a glass filled with ice and enjoy!
Cheers! We loved this
Cheers! Thank you, Sonya!
Basil Margaritas are served at a restaurant called “South”. They put a spiced on the rim of the glass that gives it a southwest flavor….yum.
Rocky Mountain Woman says
I would never in a million years think of this combination, but I am certainly going to try it..
Tequila is my very favorite food group, after all!
oh and i love the photo! so cute.
i can't wait to try making these…or maybe another trip down there is needed to be sure you've prefected the recipe!
think i might just chop the basil when making them at home…love those little green tooth specks:)
I think I just died and went to heaven. I love basil!!
That Girl says
I'm a huge fan of sage margaritas, so I bet I'd love this. I know I love the glass!
how lovely! basil is one of my favorite herbs, this looks delicious!
Eccentric Kitchen (Steph) says
This sounds amazing!!!
What a creative twist on a margarita!
I also like the red lip smile after a night of drinking red wine…why doesn't anyone tell us these things:D
My Kitchen in the Rockies says
Lucky me, I have fresh basil in the fridge and tomorrow is Happy Hour Friday! Thanks.
Mini Baker says
The place I used to work at had a basil cucumber martini, but this looks even more delish!
Love the shot! Cute idea to put it in that jar. I know first hand how delicious these are! What a great way to celebrate the holiday 🙂
Gorgeous and colorful drink.
Yummmm I love basil. My husband isn't a fan of it but you can catch me mowing it down like a cow when I get a fresh bundle. I have never had it in a margarita but the next time I pick some up I will be sure to try out this recipe.
All Things Yummy says
That's too funny. I'm always worried I have something in my teeth. Oh well, that's what friends are for.
Ana Powell says
Happy Cinco de Maio
Very unusual Margarita, must try it ?