Cocktail Recipes/ Gin Cocktails

How To Make a Gin Basil Smash

How To Make a Gin Basil Smash from @kitchenmagpie

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.


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.”

How To Make a Gin Basil Smash from @kitchenmagpie

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.

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 and I have been converted over to the dark side of loving gin, all thanks to this drink.

Happy drinking! (that always sounds so wrong, but really, what else do I write here?)



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:



How To Make a Gin Basil Smash

  • Author: Karlynn Johnston
  • Prep Time: 3 min
  • Total Time: 3 min
  • Category: Cocktail


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


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


    • Serving Size: 1



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  • Reply
    Mark Wicklund
    August 28, 2016 at 2:53 am

    im sure the grey goose would work just as well

    • Reply
      Karlynn Johnston
      August 28, 2016 at 5:13 am

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

  • Reply
    Mark Wicklund
    June 25, 2016 at 4:30 am

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

    • Reply
      Matt Lief
      June 25, 2016 at 4:50 am

      Yes, Dr. Wicklund orders lol

  • Reply
    The Spirited Thrifter
    September 24, 2015 at 3:53 am

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

  • Reply
    Shannon Ebbesen
    September 24, 2015 at 3:04 am

    “Security, Aisle 7”

  • Reply
    Oneinblack Mary Jane Smith
    September 24, 2015 at 1:43 am

    giggle away lmao

  • Reply
    The Kitchen Magpie
    September 24, 2015 at 1:42 am

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

  • Reply
    Lakeisha Coley
    September 24, 2015 at 1:40 am

    I can smell it from here! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nick K
    August 29, 2015 at 7:47 pm

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

  • Reply
    Peggy Dunn
    August 5, 2015 at 2:22 pm

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

  • Reply
    Meg Humphrey
    June 18, 2015 at 6:24 pm

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

  • Reply
    Nicole Ebbesen Rowan
    November 30, 2014 at 7:56 am

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

  • Reply
    The Kitchen Magpie
    November 28, 2014 at 6:45 pm

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

  • Reply
    Linsey Marwick
    November 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Sounds good for any day of the week! Cheers 😉

  • Reply
    November 28, 2014 at 3:20 pm

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

    • Reply
      November 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      @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!

      • Reply
        November 29, 2014 at 3:49 pm

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

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