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How to Make a Gin Basil Smash

The Gin Basil Smash cocktail shouldn’t work but it does! This modern classic with its herbal flavors mixed with its citrus kick is one of the summer cocktails that should be on your list!

Gin Basil Smash 2

Smash recipes are made from a spirit, fruit and sugar or simple syrup, usually served over ice or crushed ice.  Something is usually muddled as well. This time it’s basil leaves. The drink has a sweet and savory flavor with a kick from lemon juice and gin.

The original recipe was invented in 2008 by a bartender named Jörg Meyer of The Lion (Bar Le Lion) in Hamburg, Germany. It was originally called the Gin Pesto, perfect for a cocktail including peppery basil leaf. But as it caught on, the name changed. It did win “Best New Cocktail” at the 2008 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards.

Gin Basil Smash 3

What goes into a Gin Basil Smash

It’s all in the name – gin – basil – smash. Mix the gin with smashed basil and voilà, you have it. Gin Basil Smash is among the quickest and easiest drinks to make at home.

  • Gin: This is the base spirit – it’s in the name. Your cocktail is only as good as the spirit you put in it, so use the best gin. You can use London Dry Gin or a more botanical gin, such as Hendrick’s, if you prefer the taste.
  • Simple syrup: Simple sugar syrup is made with sugar and water and adds sweetness to it.
  • Fresh Lemon juice: Lemon juice offers a citrusy freshness to this drink. It also balances out the the sweetness of the drink.
  • Basil leaves: Fresh basil leaves are known for their sweet and savory flavor. They offer a balance between the two tastes with mint and pepper undertones. When you muddle them for this recipe, you are basically extracting the flavor which adds to this drink.
  • Basil sprig: Have on hand a big bunch of basil to grab a few sprigs to garish with.

What tools you need to make Gin Basil Smash

You’ll need a cocktail shaker for this one! Grab a jigger, a muddler or wooden spoon, a strainer, a finemesh strainer and a rocks glass for the classic Gin Basil Smash recipe.

Making Gin Basil Smash is super easy as cocktail recipes go. With a few simple ingredients, you can make this drink effortlessly. Here is what you have to do:

  • Step 1: Firstly, add fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and fresh basil leaves to a cocktail shaker.
  • Step 2: Using a muddler, muddle the leaves to extract maximum flavor from them. This step is essential for getting the right balance of flavors.
  • Step 3: Now add ice cubes, pour in the gin, and seal the shaker with a lid.
  • Step 4: Shake so that the flavors combine and the drink is chilled.
  • Step 5: Then double strain into your ice cube-filled rocks glass or cocktail glass and garnish with a fresh basil sprig.
  • Step 6: Bottom’s up!
Gin Basil Smash 1
  • 🍸Top Tip(le): Here are a few ways you can change the recipe and make it more flavorsome:
    • You can skip the simple syrup and use honey or agave syrup for sweetness as well.
    • Add mint for a more refreshing flavor
    • You can also use fresh rosemary for a unique flavor blend.
    • Fresh lime juice gives it a zing
    • Add club soda to make it more of a long drink.

Where to find more Gin cocktails

Here are a few of my favorites:

 Plus more Gin Smash recipes here

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Where to find ingredients for Gin Basil Smash cocktails

You can find all the ingredients at Spirits Kiosk (10% off the entire site by quoting this code: ALushLife10SK.) in the UK; or in the USA!

Here is the recipe!

Gin Basil Smash cocktail

Gin Basil Smash

The Gin Basil Smash cocktail shouldn't work but it does! This modern classic with its herbal flavors mixed with its citrus kick is one of the summer cocktails that should be on your list!
No ratings yet
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Course Cocktails
Cuisine German
Servings 1
Calories 173 kcal


  • 2 oz Gin
  • ¾ oz Fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ oz Simple syrup
  • 10-12 Basil leaves


  • Add the basil leaves and lemon juice to a shaker and muddle them well
  • Add the gin and simple syrup
  • Add ice
  • Shake, shake, shake
  • Fine strain into a rocks glass filled with ice
  • Garnish with basil leaves


Serving: 1gCalories: 173kcalCarbohydrates: 11gSodium: 1mgSugar: 10g
Keyword gin basil smash
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