Thomas J. Story Photo by: Thomas J. Story

Basil Gimlet

Move over, mint: Basil's spicy flavor puts a fresh spin on the traditional gimlet. Make the syrup before guests arrive—it keeps up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Sunset APRIL 2009

  • Yield: Makes 2
  • Total:25 Minutes


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large bunch basil, coarsely chopped
  • Ice
  • 6 tablespoons gin
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • Basil sprigs, for garnish (optional)


1. Make basil syrup: In a large microwave-safe measuring cup, combine sugar, 3/4 cup water, and basil.

2. Microwave on high until sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Let basil steep in syrup 20 to 30 minutes, then strain (you'll have enough syrup for 4 drinks).

4. Fill 2 highball glasses with ice. Into each glass, pour 3 tbsp. gin, 4 tbsp. basil syrup, and 2 tbsp. lime juice. Stir and serve, garnished with basil sprigs.

Tip: Add lemon juice and chilled water to the leftover syrup and serve over ice for basil lemonade.


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Basil Gimlet recipe