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Super Refreshing Basil Margarita Recipe

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Holy. Moly. This Basil Margarita Recipe is so refreshing and loaded with a delicious basil taste. Grab your favorite cocktail glass and these five simple ingredients, and you’ll be putting up your feet and relaxing in no time at all.

Margarita with basil and a smoky rim on a wooden tray next to a fresh lime.
Let’s make this easy Basil Margarita recipe!

A unique margarita recipe to try now

This margarita with basil is a simple way to have a super refreshing tequila cocktail that isn’t overpowering.

Ever since I tried a Basil Gimlet, I fell in love with adding this herb to my drinks. Whether it’s just as a garnish or actually infused in the flavor, basil is one of my favorite ways to amp up the flavor of a cocktail!

Using the basil simple syrup in this drink really brings out the flavor. I love how lime and basil pair perfectly together. It’s an herbal twist on the classic margarita that you will crave!

Related: Basil Strawberry Margarita

It’s a quick and easy drink to make in a cocktail shaker and a fun one to share with friends.

The basil garnish has such a strong scent that it reinforces the flavor as you bring the glass to your lips. It’s a flavor experience. And I’m here for it.

A smoked sugar rim is the perfect finishing touch for this Basil Margarita.

Ingredient Notes

Labeled ingredients for making a basil margarita on a counter.
What you need to make a margarita with basil simple syrup.

Adding fresh basil, as well as the infused simple syrup, is key for a truly delicious basil flavor.

Casamigos Tequila is great to use due to the slight vanilla note that makes it a little more interesting. When you can really taste the tequila (like in a Tequila Soda), I like to use more of a great-tasting traditional tequila!

And although the basil gives this drink flavor, it’s a very tequila forward. I used Orange Bitters to add just a touch more citrus. I just love the way bitters finish off a drink.

Close up of a smoked sugar blend in a bottle on a counter.

I found this tasty Smoked Sugar blend and thought it would be delicious to try on the rim, but you can skip it if your store doesn’t have this. You could also use regular salt if you prefer.

How to Make a Basil Margarita

Rim the glass

Woman adding a smoked sugar rim to a cocktail glass.

Rim the cocktail glass by rubbing a small piece of fresh lime on the rim (all-around or in a small area as I’ve shown) then dip the wet part of the glass into the spice poured onto a small plate. Then set aside until the cocktail is ready.

I used a smoked sugar blend I found at the store. It’s a great counterpoint to the basil simple syrup and vanilla notes of the tequila.

I’m not a huge fan of a salted rim so this is a great alternative. I also never rim a whole glass (unless it is with dried rose petals). The choice is totally yours!

Woman adding margarita ingredients to the cocktail shaker.

Step 1

To a cocktail shaker, add tequila, lime juice, and basil simple syrup.

Step 2

Clap 2-3 basil leaves between your hands and place in the shaker.

Clapping the bail helps to release the oils. It’s a super simple alternative to muddling.

Woman adding ice to the cocktail shaker.

Step 3

Add ice and shake well.

Woman pouring margarita from a cocktail shaker over ice in cocktail glass.

Step 4

Strain over fresh ice in the prepared cocktail glass.

Woman stirring a basil margarita with with a bar spoon on the counter.

Step 5

Top with 2-3 drops of orange Bitters and give it a quick stir.

Garnish with fresh basil. And this Basil Margarita is ready to go!

Tips and Tricks

  • To make this more like a traditional margarita, you can add an ounce of orange liqueur or Triple Sec.
  • Don’t have time to make the Basil Simple Syrup? Just muddle fresh basil into regular simple syrup and lime juice instead. The overall basil flavor will be more subtle but it’s still delicious!
  • As a last resort, you can add basil to the store-bought margarita mix. I much prefer the taste of a fresh margarita, but if you’re crunched for time or ingredients, you can do it.
  • The bitters add a depth of flavor to the drink that is really nice but if you don’t have any, you can still make this drink!
  • You can easily turn this into a blended margarita by putting the ingredients into a high-powered blender. The basil will get broken up and will resemble a mojito with pieces of the herb mixed throughout the drink.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know when basil is ripe?

You’re going to need to use your nose. If you get a strong smell of basil, it’s ready to use. The leaves should also be a nice, bright green as well.

Can you use salt on the rim instead of sugar?

Absolutely. I just really love the smokey sugar flavoring with the basil and tequila but if you’re more of a salt person, try and make it with salt instead. (That’s just more reasoning to make more than one to taste test!)

Do the ingredients need to be chilled before making?

They don’t. The drink is shaken with ice which will cool them down enough. And once strained over ice in the glass, it’s perfectly refreshing!

What are the best tequilas to use for a Basil Margarita?

As I mentioned above, I love the flavor profile of Casamigos Blanco Tequila. But I also really enjoy DeLeon Platinum and Santo Blanco Tequila.

Close up of a basil margarita recipe garnished with fresh basil held by a woman.

This simple Basil Margarita recipe is great for making a refreshing cocktail that is both familiar and new.

More basil cocktails

More easy margarita recipes

basil margarita on wooden platter garnished with basil

Basil Margarita

With just a few ingredients, this quick and easy Basil Margarita recipe is one you'll crave all summer long. It's a tequila cocktail that you'll fall in love with.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: cocktails
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Calories: 215kcal
Servings: 1 cocktail

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Make sure you're made this Basil Simple Syrup recipe ahead of time so it has time to cool completely.
  • Prepare your cocktail glass: Rub a small piece of fresh lime on the rim and then dip the wet part of the glass into a small mound of spice blend or salt that you've poured onto a small plate. Set aside until the cocktail is ready.
  • To a cocktail shaker, add tequila, lime juice, and basil simple syrup.
  • Clap 2-3 basil leaves between your hands and place in the shaker.
  • Add ice and shake well.
  • Strain over fresh ice in a prepared cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with fresh basil.

Notes

  • To make this more like a traditional margarita, you can add an ounce of orange liqueur or Triple Sec.
  • Don’t have time to make the Basil Simple Syrup? Just muddle fresh basil into regular simple syrup and lime juice instead. The overall basil flavor will be more subtle but it’s still delicious!
  • As a last resort, you can add basil to the store-bought margarita mix. 
  • The bitters add a depth of flavor to the drink that is really nice but if you don’t have any, you can still make this drink!
  • You can easily turn this into a blended margarita by putting the ingredients into a high-powered blender. The basil will get broken up and will resemble a mojito with pieces of the herb mixed throughout the drink.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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