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How To Make a Gin Basil Smash

Top down shot of Gin Basil Smash with Black Straw
How To Make a Gin Basil Smash

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

Don’t judge me.

The Scene: Nicole’s house, for a BBQ and visit with her family.

The mood:  Erm… jovial? Let’s go with jovial.

Nicole and I are both big lovers of cocktails and let’s be honest, many friendships have flourished on far more shaky foundations than one that has been built on a mutual love of a good mixed drink.

Her husband Duane is also an excellent bartender who loves mixing up delicious new concoctions whenever he has the opportunity. The cocktail of choice for this dinner was a Gin Basil smash, perfectly suited to the sultry warm summer evening.

That particular evening Nicole and I sat out on her deck, sipping our Gin Basil Smashes and chatting, waiting until it was time to start supper. When the time came to start prepping the her Best of Bridge Stacked Pizza we headed on in to the kitchen.

a glass of Gin Basil Smash in front of black puppy

When we went to start dinner prep in the kitchen (ok fine, Nicole went to start the prep and I took my almost-finished gin smash-#2 of the evening-with me and leaned on the counter to watch her) I wondered why the heck I felt so flushed.

Phew. That kitchen was hot, or at least it must have been since my cheeks were flushed a bright pink. I patted my cheek, felt the world tilt justateensybit and thought…hmm…

“Hey Nicole” I said, between the final sips of my second gin smash in 45 minutes ” What exactly is in these drinks?”

“Hey Duane!” she yelled out to him as he BBQ’d up the pork ” What’s in those gin smashes?”

Duane came in, wiped his hands clean from the BBQ and said:

“Lemon juice, simple syrup and 4 shots of gin.”

Top down shot of Gin Basil Smash with Black Straw

When we collectively gathered our jaws off the floor and stopped laughing, Nicole and I might have give him a hard time about how he should have warned us that he was handing out cocktails that had four ounces of hard liquor in them.

Cocktails with four ounces of hard liquor, I might add, that we were drinking like iced tea on a hot summer’s day.

Holy Dinah.

In truth, it’s a good thing that I inherited some mighty fine drinking abilities from my Ukrainian and Russian ancestors and that eight ounces of hard liquor in less than an hour didn’t faze me past some flushed cheeks and a little tilt, however you might want to warn your guests that this is a mighty fine sipping drink that packs a powerful punch!

Most gin recipes have only two ounces in them and yes, feel free to adjust this if you want. The thing is…these are seriously delicious with four ounces. There is something just right about the ratio going on in this drink. You could split in half entirely to make a single gin smash if you wanted, but I suspect that it will go down just as smooth and as fast as this one did.

This drink shouldn’t be reserved to the summertime either, in fact, I’m pretty much a citrus cocktail lover year-round. The savory twist in this makes it perfect for your holiday gathering in fact.

For those who asked what a muddler is, this is the exact one I use! You can pick it up on Amazon for cheap!

For my Canadian readers:

For my US readers:

I would also add that you shouldn’t be scared of the basil in the recipe, it’s one heck of a delicious cocktail! I’ve had a lot of people wrinkle up their nose at both gin and basil and I’ve learned that if you haven’t had either of those in a GOOD drink, then that’s the problem. This is a spectacular gin drink like my Blueberry Mint Gin Fizz or my Tangerine and Gin cocktail and I have been converted over to the dark side of loving gin, all thanks to this drink.

Happy drinking,




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

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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 14 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


  1. 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!
  2. Pour in the gin and ice cubes, place lid on top of the shaker.
  3. Shake the container until the outside of the cocktail shaker is freezing cold.This is how you know the drink is cold enough!
  4. 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 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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Mark Wicklund says

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

  5. The Spirited Thrifter says

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

  6. The Kitchen Magpie says

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

  7. Nick K says

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

  8. 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

  9. Meg Humphrey says

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

    5 stars

  10. Nicole Ebbesen Rowan says

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

    5 stars

  11. Linsey Marwick says

    Sounds good for any day of the week! Cheers 😉

    5 stars

  12. 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!

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