How To Make a Gin Basil Smash

Deadly but seriously delicious, this gin basil smash has 4 ounces of gin in it! Make sure to take 'er easy!

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This has got to be one of my favorite cocktails and it’s all thanks to Jörg Meyer who owns Le Lion in Hamburg. Jörg created this masterpiece back in 2008 after being inspired by the Whisky Smash (also a great cocktail by a guy called Dale DeGroff!). The Gin Basil Smash is basically an alternative take on the gin mojito that swaps the mint for muddled basil, but it’s definitely in a league of its own. This gin sensation even won the 2008 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards (now that’s an award show I’d love to go to!).

Also, let’s not forget that basil is a vegetable, so technically this counts as one of your five a day… right?!

A glass of Gin Basil Smash with Black Straw
Gin Basil Smash

How to Make a Gin Basil Smash

  1. Combine the basil, syrup, lemon juice in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Crush the basil until bruised.
  3. Pour in the gin and ice cubes and place the lid on the shaker.
  4. Shake until the outside of the shaker gets freezing cold.
  5. Strain into a tall cocktail glass, add some more ice on top, and drink up!

a glass of Gin Basil Smash in front of black puppy

Tips and Tricks For Making Gin Basil Smash

  • If you want a more intense flavor, you can blend the sugar syrup and basil instead of muddling. This will give you a super refreshing drink. Just make sure to double-strain.
  • If you want to experiment a bit, add some fresh blackberries for a Blackberry Gin Basil Smash! Just muddle the blackberries with honey until jammy before continuing with the rest of the recipe instructions.
  • If you have any leftover syrup, you can keep it in the refrigerator for a week before it goes off. I like to use it for making sodas!

Top down shot of Gin Basil Smash with Black Straw

More Gin-Based Cocktails to Try:

Here a few of my favorite gin cocktails.

Tangerine & Gin: this is definitely one for the tangerine lovers!

Sloe Gin Fizz Recipe: simple and delicious- this one goes down way too easily!

Gin Swizzle Recipe: easy to make and seriously refreshing!

Blueberry Mint Gin Fizz: this summery drink tastes just as good as it looks!







Deadly but seriously delicious, this gin basil smash has 4 ounces of gin in it! Make sure to take 'er easy! #gin #basil #cocktail

How To Make a Gin Basil Smash

Deadly but seriously delicious, this gin basil smash has 4 ounces of gin in it! Make sure to take 'er easy!
5 from 50 votes
Top down shot of Gin Basil Smash with Black Straw
Prep Time
3 minutes
Total Time
3 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


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


  • Combine basil leaves, simple syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker.Crush the basil till bruised with a muddler, which will release the oils. The juice might start to turn green, this is ok!
  • Pour in the gin and ice cubes, place lid on top of the shaker.
  • Shake the container until the outside of the cocktail shaker is freezing cold.This is how you know the drink is cold enough!
  • Strain into a tall cocktail glass, add additional ice to the top and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 428kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Sodium: 34mg, Potassium: 94mg, Sugar: 42g, Vitamin A: 265IU, Vitamin C: 22.9mg, Iron: 2mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Ka says

    I’m very picky about my drinks as my Hubbie is a mixologist. But this was great! 10 giant basil leaves from the garden. Might add cuke to the muddling next time.tanqueray 10 was spot on.5 stars

    • Mr. Kitchen Magpie says

      Cucumber would definitely be delicious in this, good idea!

  2. Dianna says

    Great drink! Apparently this is very popular in Lebanon, that’s why I searched and will keep this recipe.5 stars

  3. Deborah Winsberg says

    Super delish, super easy….this might not be a good thing 😛5 stars

  4. Tammy Foster says

    I was looking for a cocktail that would utilize 2 of my favorites: basil and gin which this cocktail hits the spot. It’s a sipper which I appreciate. Thanks!5 stars

  5. Josh says

    This is a great recipe. Refreshing and easy-drinking. I ran out of simple syrup, so augmented with a bit of maple syrup. A bit sweet, but a great mix of flavours.

  6. J P says

    Great drink. Refreshing great flavor. Very easy to drink. I would use less lemon juice 1.5 oz and throw in a few lemon chunks to the muddle. Use 1.75 oz simple syrup as I like just a little less sweet. And 5 oz Gin. I use Pinnacle Gin it is not overbearing and lighter5 stars

  7. Mark Wicklund says

    im sure the grey goose would work just as well

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      No. Gin is magic in this. Vodka has a place…just not here \U0001f602

  8. Mark Wicklund says

    Gin vodka rum yup love them all. Medicinal purposes only. Drs orders

  9. The Spirited Thrifter says

    It really just makes me want gin. I mean pesto. Whatever.

  10. The Kitchen Magpie says

    I literally had my nose in it the whole time in the store. Love basil!’

  11. Nick K says

    Has anyone tried making this with fresh lemons instead of lemon juice?

  12. Peggy Dunn says

    Love love love Bombay gin! Going to give cocktail a try

    5 stars

    • Shelby says

      The 4oz of gin and 10 basil leaves sounded like a bit much but I went for it and the ratios are pretty spot on! I used agave in place of simple syrup and it came out great! I also used Sam’s Club gin (no need for top shelf).5 stars

  13. Meg Humphrey says

    They are delicious! I’ve been enjoying them all summer!

    5 stars

  14. Nicole Ebbesen Rowan says

    Great recipe indeed! Now I kinda want one but my bartender is sleeping!!

    5 stars

  15. Linsey Marwick says

    Sounds good for any day of the week! Cheers 😉

    5 stars

  16. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Oh, it is! Let me know if you try it!

  17. Jody says

    What is simple syrup and a muddler? Fellow gin drinker wants to know.

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      @Jody Simple syrup is a white sugar and water syrup, VERY easy to make!  I will link to a muddler above in my post for you ASAP. It’s something every cocktail drinker should have! Inexpensive drink “smasher” lol!

      • Jody says

        thekitchenmagpie Oooo, awesome. That’d help make a great mojito too.

5 from 50 votes (38 ratings without comment)

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