Make this basil-infused simple syrup to add an herby sweetness and flavor to anything from an icy dessert granita to a homemade cocktail. We'll even drizzle a touch on top of fresh berries! An elegant touch of basil flavor makes a huge difference in many drinks and dishes, so you can use this simple syrup to sweeten up crafted cocktails, homemade popsicles, or an icy granita to give a deeper, more interesting flavor. We love to make this for guests to add to their favorite gin, vodka, or bourbon cocktails—or for a luncheon to add to iced tea or lemonade. For cocktails, a Lemon-Basil Gin Gimlet will certainly wet your whistle. It's so refreshing, cool, and unique—you'll impress everyone at the dinner party by using this syrup for a signature aperitif or homemade dessert for the night. For a more moderate affair, give a basil essence to fresh-made lemonade for a special twist. If you're planning a party, make up a double batch and put it in a small glass pitcher with a label, making it easy for guests to pour in their highball glasses. It's incredibly easy to make (just add fresh basil leaves to your saucepan with sugar and water!), so we venture to guess you're going to be filing this one in the party-favorite section of your recipe book. Trust us, this is going to be your new secret weapon when it comes to elevating your hosting for any occasion. Even better, this simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Southern Living


Credit: Southern Living

Recipe Summary test

5 mins
35 mins
Makes about 1 cup


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine sugar, water, and basil leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer, pressing solids to remove as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.