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Basil simple syrup is perfect for infusing a fresh, herbaceous flavor into cocktails and mocktails! Here’s how to make it at home.

Basil simple syrup

Here’s a great recipe for adding nuance in flavor to cocktails and mocktails: try basil simple syrup! It’s quick to whip up and infuses a fresh, herbaceous nuance to everything it touches. All you need is a handful of fresh basil, sugar, and 30 minutes. Use the syrup in drinks like cocktails, mocktails or lemonade, or you can even drizzle it over fresh berries for a simple dessert. Here’s how to make it!

Ingredients for basil simple syrup

A simple syrup is a liquid sweetener made with equal parts sugar and water. It’s often used for sweetening drinks like cocktails and mocktails, and it’s made by simmering sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Infused simple syrups simmer the syrup with fruits or herbs to infuse other flavorings into the mixture. The ingredients you need for basil simple syrup are:

  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Granulated sugar: You can make simple syrup with other types of sugar, but granulated sugar is best here! Brown sugar or demerara sugar have different flavor profiles which would compete with the basil, and they have a darker brown color.
  • Water
Basil simple syrup

Tips for making basil simple syrup

Basil simple syrup is easy to whip up: all you need to know are the ingredient ratios and infusion time. Here’s what to know:

  • Use equal parts water, sugar, and herbs. We used ½ cup of each in the recipe below, which makes about ¾ cup. For us, that’s plenty for a specialty ingredient, but double the batch for a larger quantity (like if you’re making a big pitcher of Basil Lemonade).
  • Bring to a simmer, then remove heat and steep for 30 minutes. A flavored simple syrup lets the herb or flavoring steep at room temperature in the warm syrup. You’ll be surprised at how much flavor infuses in just 30 minutes.
  • Strain and refrigerate. Strain out the herbs and pour into a sealed storage container. That’s it!

Storage info

This homemade basil simple syrup lasts up to 2 weeks refrigerated. But keep in mind, the flavor is freshest when it’s first made! Simple syrup lasts for even longer, but the basil flavor does dull over time.

Basil simple syrup

Drinks to make with basil simple syrup

This basil simple syrup has an intense, herby fresh flavor. Take a sip of it and your tastebuds are instantly overwhelmed with the herbaceous pop! Use it to make craft cocktails, mocktails, or other drinks. Here are some ideas:

1. Mint spritzer (mocktail)

Pour soda water in a glass and stir in basil syrup to taste. Spritz with a lime wedge if you’d like.

2. Basil lemonade

Mix 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 3 tablespoons basil syrup, and 1 cup water. Serve over ice! (Or make a pitcher: go to Basil Lemonade.)

3. Basil gimlet

Combine 2 ounces gin, ½ ounce lime juice, and ½ ounce basil simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake until cold, then strain into a glass. (See Gin Gimlet for more.)

4. Basil Mojito

Combine 2 ounces white rum, 1 ounce lime juice, and 1 ½ ounces basil simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake until cold, then strain into a glass. Serve with ice and soda water. (See Mojito for more.)

5. Basil Collins

Add 2 ounces gin, 1 ounce lemon juice, 1 ounce basil simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with 4 ice cubes. Shake well until chilled. Strain into an ice filled glass, and top off the glass with ½ cup soda water. Garnish with a lemon wheel and cocktail cherry. (See Tom Collins for more.)

Basil Lemonade

More simple syrup recipes

There are many different types of flavored simple syrups to whip up at home! Here are a few simple syrup recipes:

This basil simple syrup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Basil simple syrup

Basil Simple Syrup

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Rest time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 33 minutes
  • Yield: ¾ cup 1x


Basil simple syrup is perfect for infusing a fresh, herbaceous flavor into cocktails and mocktails! Here’s how to make it at home.


  • ½ cup granulated sugar*
  • ½ cup basil leaves, tightly packed


  1. Add the sugar and ½ cup water to a small saucepan and heat until a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil leaves. Steep until syrup is room temperature, about 30 minutes. Remove the basil leaves. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks; the flavor is better the fresher the syrup.


*Or double the batch if you have 1 cup basil leaves on hand; this makes enough for an entire pitcher of Basil Lemonade.

  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Syrup
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Basil simple syrup

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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