Cool down this summer with a Strawberry Basil Gin Smash. It's one of my favorite mixed gin drinks made with sweet strawberry puree, fresh basil leaves, and a splash of sparkling water. Make it at home today in just a couple of minutes!
📋 About the Recipe
- Ready in 10 minutes. Great for last minute hosting and easy summer nights. Enjoy this simple strawberry cocktail all Spring and Summer long with just a few ingredients. Try my Mango Mojito, Blackberry Bourbon Smash, and Blueberry Vodka Lemonade for more super simple homemade cocktail ideas.
- Customizable. Adjust the amount of sweetener, fruit, and gin to your liking. The best part of making cocktails at home is each person can make them to their individual taste.
- Includes an easy homemade simple syrup recipe. Learn how easy it is to whip up homemade simple syrup for all of your cocktail making needs. Store it in the refrigerator and use it over and over again to make a gin smash, mixed drinks, and more.
A few notes about the ingredients:
- strawberries - Fresh, ripe strawberries are the best to use here because they are easier to muddle and smash. The more ripe and juicy your strawberries, the more flavorful your strawberry gin smash will be!
- basil - Similar to the strawberries, fresh basil is going to give your strawberry basil gin smash the most optimal flavor. If planning to serve these strawberry smashes to guests, make sure to buy your basil as close to serving as possible because basil browns very quickly. Or better yet, pick fresh basil off of a plant in your garden!
- gin - I used Beefeater London Dry Gin. It's made with notes of citrus from oranges and lemons that compliment the sweet fruit flavors in this smash perfectly. Any dry gin you have or can find will work, but choose the highest quality your budget will allow for the smoothest taste.
- sparkling water - Both sparkling water and club soda will work in this strawberry gin smash. All you need is a little bit to top the drink with for some extra bubbles.
- simple syrup - You can purchase simple syrup at the grocery store, but making it at home is very easy. To make homemade simple syrup, combine equal parts water and sugar (½ cup water and ½ cup sugar, more or less) in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk until sugar is fully dissolved. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature before adding to drinks or refrigerating for later.
- Place lemon wedges, basil leaves, and strawberries in a cocktail shaker or tall drinking glass. It's okay to leave the strawberries whole - just remove the strawberry stems.
- Muddle. Using a cocktail muddler or the end of a wooden serving utensil, muddle the lemon, basil and strawberries until mostly smashed (about 10 times). The texture should be similar to a fruit puree - smashed enough to allow the juices from the strawberry and basil to meld into the cocktail.
- Pour in liquids and shake. Add in the gin, simple syrup and ice. Cover with lid and shake vigorously to combine the flavors of the strawberry juice, basil, gin and sweetener. The longer you shake, the stronger the flavors will be.
- Strain the gin smash into a glass and serve chilled. You can also strain over ice, if preferred.
- Top with sparkling water and garnish. I like to add fresh basil and sliced strawberries before serving.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- Out of gin? Substitute a plain flavored vodka instead.
- Use your sweetener of choice. Simple syrup, maple syrup, agave, honey, etc. all work so use what you have. Do note, however, that sweeteners like maple syrup and honey do have a more distinct flavor than sweeteners like simple syrup and agave and will be more pronounced in your mixed gin cocktail.
- Out of fresh strawberries? You can substitute frozen strawberries, but be sure to allow the strawberries to thaw enough so that they can be easily muddled.
❄️ How to Store
To store: If you have any leftover gin smash, store the remainder in the refrigerator in an airtight jar for up to 48 hours. Since it is made with fresh strawberries and fresh basil, you will want to enjoy it relatively close to when it was prepared for optimal taste.
Similarly, you can prep a larger batch of this gin drink up to 24 hours ahead of time and store to chill in the refrigerator for easy hosting and serving. Add the sparkling water right before serving.
If you'd like to garnish with a full strawberry, simply cut a slit halfway down the strawberry from the tip down towards the stem. Line the slit up with the rim of the drinking glass and gently slide the strawberry onto the glass.
Similarly, you can do this with sliced strawberries by first slicing the strawberry into thin rings, then cutting a slit in one side of the strawberry ring to allow you to slide it onto the rim of the glass.
To muddle means to mash. To muddle strawberries, place the strawberries in a glass or cocktail shaker, and smash the strawberries into a pureed, jam-like texture. This can be done using a cocktail muddler, the back end of a spatula or serving utensil, rolling pin, or even a potato masher.
A smash is a cocktail made with "smashed" fruit and typically contains a mixture of alcohol, sugar, and fruit. It is a great quick and easy cocktail to try at home. There are a number of different types of "smash" cocktails using a variety of alcohols. Something for everyone!
💭 One More Tip
- Make sure to muddle the fruit enough! This is where all the flavor comes from in the strawberry basil gin smash, so smash the fruit juices together enough to enhance the pleasant aromas and create a fresh strawberry puree. This will allow the flavors to meld easily into the gin smash when shaken.
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Strawberry Basil Gin Smash
- 2 lemon wedges (⅓ of a lemon)
- 5 fresh basil leaves plus extra for garnish
- 5 small strawberries (or 3 large strawberries) plus extra for garnish
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) gin
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) simple syrup, maple syrup, or agave
- sparkling water or club soda
- crushed ice
- Add lemon wedges, basil leaves, and strawberries to a cocktail shaker or glass.
- Muddle until mostly smashed, about 10 times.
- Pour in gin, simple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice), and ice. Cover with the lid of the shaker and make sure it is secure. Shake vigorously to combine all the flavors.
- Strain into a glass filled with ice or simply serve chilled.
- Top with sparkling water or club soda. Garnish with additional fresh basil and sliced strawberries.
- You can use vodka instead of gin, if you prefer.
- To make homemade simple syrup: Combine equal parts water and sugar (½ cup water and ½ cup sugar, more or less) in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk until sugar is fully dissolved. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature before adding to drinks or refrigerating for later.
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