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This strawberry basil cocktail is a fresh spin on a gin and tonic! Sweet berries pair perfectly with the peppery essence of the fresh herb.

Strawberry basil cocktail
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Here’s a beautiful drink that simply screams summer: this Strawberry Basil cocktail! It’s a spin on the gin and tonic that features perfect pairing of sweet berries and peppery fresh herbs. There’s nothing we love more than a good summer cocktail, and this one is pretty special. It’s bubbly, light, and just sweet enough: perfect for sipping by the pool or grill!

Ingredients for this strawberry basil cocktail

This strawberry basil cocktail is a spin on the G&T that adds summery berries and fresh herbs for a refreshing, bubbly cocktail. The classic Gin and Tonic was invented in the 1850’s by British soldiers, who mixed gin with their tonic water as a way to drink quinine (thought to cure malaria). Today it’s become one of the best loved drinks around the world. Here’s what you’ll need to make a strawberry basil G&T:

  • Strawberries
  • Sugar
  • Basil
  • Gin
  • Tonic water
Strawberry basil cocktail

How to muddle

The one cocktail skill you’ll need for this strawberry basil cocktail recipe? How to muddle. Muddling is gently mashing herbs to release their juices, which helps the flavors incorporate into drinks. Here’s what you’ll need to know about muddling for this cocktail:

  • Use a cocktail muddler or wooden spoon. Here’s the cocktail muddler we have.
  • Very gently mash the basil. You don’t want to beat it to a pulp! Use a gentle touch with herbs.
  • Add the berries and mash. Berries can take a stronger beating, so mash them until the juices are extracted.

After that, you’ll just add the gin and tonic water to make the drink! Pouring the tonic water over the back of a spoon helps to increase the bubbles. Speaking of…

Tonic water and best brands

What’s tonic water? Tonic water is a carbonated water that contains quinine and is lightly sweetened. It has much more flavor than club soda: it’s bubbly, bitter, sweet and sour. Quinine was historically prescribed as a medicine to fight malaria, and mixing it with carbonated water and sugar helped to mask its bitter flavor. It was first sold in the 1850’s. Today, the level of quinine is much lower than historical tonic water and is safe to consume.

What’s the best tonic water brand? Our favorite brand is Q Tonic: it has great flavor and is sold in small cans, just enough for a few drinks. (PS We also like Q for ginger beer and ginger ale.)

Tonic water

Step it up with clear ice

Want to step up your strawberry basil cocktail? Use clear ice! It’s crystal clear artisan-style ice you can make at home, instead of cloudy like ice from an ice tray. You can cut it into large organic shapes and it looks like a drink from a fancy bar. It’s easy to make in just 24 hours in a small cooler in your freezer. How to do it? Go to How to Make Clear Ice.

More strawberry cocktails

When it’s strawberry season, we’re all in! Once you’ve tried this strawberry basil G&T, we’ve got lots more strawberry cocktails to try. Here are some favorites:

When to serve a strawberry basil cocktail

This drink is perfect for summer, when berries and herbs abound! Here are a few ideas:

  • Summer drink
  • Pool party or lake house drink
  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Strawberry basil cocktail

Strawberry Basil Cocktail (G&T!)

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


This strawberry basil cocktail is a fresh spin on a gin and tonic! Sweet berries pair perfectly with the peppery essence of the fresh herb.


  • 3 ripe medium strawberries, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 basil leaves, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) gin
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) tonic water


  1. Add lots of ice to a large cocktail or wine glass and stir to chill the glass. Drain any melted water.
  2. Quarter the strawberries. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the basil leaves. Add the strawberries and sugar and muddle again. Add the gin and a handful of ice. Shake until cold, and then strain into cocktail glass.
  3. Add the garnishes and then pour the tonic water onto a bar spoon into the glass (to increase the bubbles). Stir once. Garnish with strawberries and additional basil leaves (important for the basil nose on the drink!) and serve.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

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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  1. Joetta Gobell says:

    I’m about to give this a whirl, looks yummy and perfect for summer, but a few edits to the recipe would be helpful. You don’t mention in the steps when to add the sugar (I muddled the basil with it), and there’s a typo that says “stain over ice” when it should be strain.

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Thank you: we’ve updated this in the recipe! You can add the sugar with the basil or the berries. Thanks for the note!

  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!