Basil Martini Recipe and Variations for a Sophisticated Taste

Basil Martini Recipe

Martinis are often thought of as a sophisticated cocktail, but maybe you think of them as being too spirit forward to be enjoyable. Thankfully, the world of cocktails is ever-evolving, and people have begun to branch out and experiment, giving the world the little-known basil martini. Basil martini recipes are simple, and you don't need fresh basil leaves at all times, you can consider making or using a basil simple syrup, as well. As with all drinks, how you craft your basil martini recipe is up to you.

Basil Martini

The basil martini is, at its core, nothing more than your preferred spirit between gin and vodka, with some muddled basil and lime. It's simple, beautiful, and your next go-to martini.

Basil Martini

Ingredients

  • ¼ ounce simple
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 ounces vodka or gin
  • ½ ounce dry vermouth
  • Ice
  • Cucumber slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle basil leaves with a splash of simple syrup.
  3. Add ice, vodka, lime juice, and the remaining simple syrup.
  4. Stir rapidly to chill.
  5. Double strain into chilled glass.
  6. Garnish with cucumber slice.

Gin Basil Martini

The counterpart to the vodka basil martini, this recipe includes green chartreuse to complement the basil and juniper flavors.

Gin Basil Martini

Ingredients

  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • 1½ ounces gin
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ ounce green chartreuse
  • 2 slices of cucumber
  • Ice
  • Cucumber ribbon for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle basil leaves and sliced cucumber with a splash of simple syrup.
  2. Add ice, gin, lime juice, green chartreuse, and remaining simple syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Double strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with cucumber ribbon.

Cilantro Basil Martini

Cilantro can be fairly dividing, but the cilantro is used as a garnish to create an added nose to the cocktail.

Cilantro Basil Martini

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge, sugar, and cilantro leaf for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. Rub the rim of the martini glass or coupe with the lemon wedge.
  3. With the sugar on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the sugar to coat.
  4. In a cocktail shaker, muddle basil leaves with a splash of simple syrup.
  5. Add ice, vodka, lime juice, and remaining simple syrup.
  6. Shake to chill.
  7. Double strain into chilled glass.
  8. Garnish with a fragrant cilantro leaf.

Strawberry Basil Martini

The savory flavors of the basil play so well with the fruity and juicy strawberry.

Strawberry Basil Martini

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • ¾ ounce strawberry liqueur
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce basil simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Basil leaf for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add vodka, strawberry liqueur, lime juice, and basil simple syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Double strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with a basil leaf.

Decadent Basil Martini

This basil martini twist incorporates pieces of a whiskey sour to give a little extra kick. If you are hesitant or prefer not to use egg whites, consider substituting two tablespoons of aquafaba.

Decadent Basil Martini

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce basil simple syrup
  • 1 egg white or aquafaba
  • Ice
  • Basil leaf for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add gin, lime juice, basil simple syrup, and egg white.
  3. Dry shake for approximately 45 seconds to mix ingredients and create a froth.
  4. Add ice to shaker.
  5. Shake to chill.
  6. Double strain into chilled glass.
  7. Garnish with basil leaf.

Lime Basil Martini

Gimlets have just two ingredients, gin and sweetened lime juice. This follows that basil recipe but adds basil to give it a more herbaceous flavor.

Lime Basil Martini

Ingredients

  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1¾ ounces gin
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Lime wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle basil leaves with a splash of simple syrup.
  3. Add ice, gin, lime juice, and remaining simple syrup.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Double strain into chilled glass.
  6. Garnish with lime wheel.

Rosemary Basil Martini

Layering two different herbs into a martini might seem ludicrous, but when you consider all the herbs that go into one dish, two suddenly seem like not enough. This drink gets its color from Empress 1908 gin, which contains butterfly pea flowers that give it its lovely purple color. Give it a try.

Rosemary Basil Martini

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Empress 1908 gin
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce basil simple syrup
  • 1 egg white or aquafaba
  • Ice
  • Rosemary sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add gin, lime juice, basil simple syrup, and egg white.
  3. Dry shake for approximately 45 seconds to mix ingredients and create a froth.
  4. Add ice to shaker.
  5. Shake to chill.
  6. Double strain into chilled glass.
  7. Garnish with rosemary sprig.

Regal Basil Martini

The purple gin gives this basil martini a regal feel, while still being a refreshingly simple recipe.

Regal Basil Martini

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Empress 1908 gin
  • ½-¾ ounce basil simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Champagne to top off

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, and basil simple syrup.
  3. Stir rapidly to chill.
  4. Double strain into chilled glass.
  5. Top off with champagne or sparkling wine.

Watermelon Basil Martini

Watermelon, basil, and feta are a classic summer flavor pairing but don't worry, this recipe skips the feta.

Watermelon Basil Martini

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces watermelon vodka
  • ½ ounce raspberry liqueur
  • ½ ounce basil simple syrup
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Watermelon chunk for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, vodka, liqueur, basil simple syrup, and lime juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Double strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with chunk of watermelon.

Lemon Basil Martini

This lemon basil martini uses lemon liqueur in place of lemon juice to give that citrus flavor without the pucker.

Lemon Basil Martini

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • ¾ ounce lemon liqueur
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle basil leaves and a splash of simple syrup.
  3. Add ice, vodka, lemon liqueur, and simple syrup.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Double strain into chilled glass.

Stuck in the Muddle With You

Try to use fresh basil; there are few other ingredients, so hiding a subpar herb is difficult. Basil martinis aren't difficult, but they do require a gentler hand than mojitos or other muddled cocktails. You don't need to be as aggressive to draw out the flavor-- rather than pounding the basil, you'll gently grind it to release the essence. As you learn the ebbs and flows of the basil, you can start to add other muddled ingredients, including other herbs or berries. Soon you'll have the answer to what to do with your thriving basil plant.

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Basil Martini Recipe and Variations for a Sophisticated Taste