The Basil Spritz Cocktail

Basil vodka cocktail
Photo by Meg Baggott

Courtesy Steen Bojsen-Møller, beverage director, Birba Palm Springs, California

When basil starts to sprout in gardens and sunny window boxes, make this refreshing, bubbly drink. Inspired by the popular Aperol Spritz, Steen Bojsen-Møller, beverage director at Birba Palm Springs in California, sought to create a less-sweet variation with an herbaceous flavor.

An added bonus: “It comes out a beautiful bright green color, which also makes you feel like you’re drinking something healthy.”

A Tequila Cocktail with a Kick of Ginger
Ingredients for Cocktail
  • 1 ½ ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce basil syrup (recipe and directions below)
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 3 ounces sparkling wine
  • Dash of soda water
  • Basil leaf, for garnish

Combine all ingredients in highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with basil leaf.

Ingredients for Basil Syrup
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves (no stems)
  • 1 cup sugar
Directions for Basil Syrup

In small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to boil. Add basil leaves, and allow to steep for 15 seconds.

Transfer basil to bowl of ice water for 1 minute, then dry on paper towel.

Stir sugar into basil water until dissolved, and remove from heat. Return basil to simple syrup.

Pour syrup into blender (or use a hand-held immersion blender), and blend on high for 30 seconds. Strain through a nut bag or fine cheesecloth. Refrigerated, it will keep up to 2 weeks.

Published on March 21, 2019
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She’s the author of several cocktail books, including Shake.Stir.Sip., NIGHTCAP: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening and Cocktails With a Twist, released August 2019. Email:

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