Gin Basil Smash Cocktail Drink Recipe

Learn how to make a classic Gin Basil Smash!

I love making this refreshing and herbaceous gin cocktail in the summer when there’s plenty of fresh basil growing in our family backyard herb garden.

This quick & easy mixed drink recipe features premium gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, basil leaves and sparkling soda water.

The Basil Smash Cocktail is a perfect sip to serve at a summer garden party, al fresco cottage happy hour, backyard barbecue or on a sun-soaked pretty patio.

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Save our easy Gin Basil Smash Cocktail recipe to Pinterest!
Save our easy Gin Basil Smash Cocktail recipe to Pinterest!

What Is A Gin Basil Smash?

The Gin Basil Smash was created in the summer of 2008 by Jorg Meyer at Le Lion Bar de Paris in Hamburg, Germany.

The bartender originally named the cocktail a “Gin Pesto,” writing about it on his Bitters Blog in July, 2008. It quickly grew in popularity to become internationally renowned.

“Better too much, than not enough basil in this drink,” said Meyer. The inventor of the Gin Basil Smash also specifies that the basil is first muddled rather than broken by the action of vigorous shaking as this produces a greener drink.

Learn more about the history of the Gin Basil Smash.

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Traditional Gin Basil Smash Cocktail Recipe Ingredients.
Traditional Gin Basil Smash Cocktail Recipe Ingredients.

Best Selling Gin

Gin has certainly enjoyed a boom in popularity at cocktail bars in recent years. You’ll find fantastic premium gins distilled from Scotland to Muskoka. Here are some of the world’s best selling gins and some of our local small batch favourites:

  • Gordon’s Gin: The world’s top selling gin brand is owned by Diageo. The brand’s pink iteration has undoubtedly helped to fuel its success. Gordon’s has also unveiled a line of new innovative products including two “ultra-low-alcohol” pre-mixed gin and tonic sparkling beverages and Gordon’s Gin-infused popsicles.
  • Bombay Sapphire Gin: Bacardi-owned Bombay Sapphire is one of the worlds best-selling gins. Bombay Sapphire kicked off a new limited edition range with the launch of a gin inspired by summer in the English countryside.
  • Tanqueray: Diageo-owned Tanqueray launched a new marketing campaign developed to shift consumers’ attention from “gimmicks” to flavour and unveiled a range of bottled ready-to-drink gin and tonics, made with its London Dry Gin and Flor de Sevilla Distilled Gin.
  • Beefeater Gin: Pernod Ricard’s flagship gin brand is Beefeater. The brand launched strawberry-flavoured Beefeater Pink in 2018 and further expanded its portfolio with the debut of a new blood orange-flavoured gin.
  • Seagram’s: Pernod Ricard-owned Seagram’s is a top seller having recently purchased Italian brand Malfy Gin.
  • Hendrick’s Gin: Opened the door to its £13 million Gin Palace in 2018, allowing the brand to double its capacity to two million cases annually. The Scottish brand has also added to its portfolio with the launch of the limited edition summer solstice-inspired Midsummer Solstice gin.
  • Edinburgh Gin: This craft distillery in Edinburgh produces a parade of flavoured gin bottles including rhubarb & ginger gin, raspberry gin, bramble & honey gin, black currant & anise, strawberry & pink peppercorn and pomegranate & rose.
  • Dillon’s Distillery: This Beamsville producer makes small batch gins including rose gin, cherry gin and strawberry gin.
  • Muskoka Brewery: This Ontario craft brewery produces a London Dry and spicy pink peppercorn gin.
Garnish a classic Gin Smash with a sprig of fresh basil.
Garnish a classic Gin Smash with a sprig of fresh basil.

Travel to Taste the World’s Best Gins

There’s no better way to familiarize yourself with the best Gin Basil Smash cocktail recipe then by planning a vacation to visit the world’s best gin distilleries.

The world’s most famous gins can be found in the United Kingdom as well as neighbouring Ireland. The booming gin trend has produced a high demand for premium gins produced by distilleries in Canada and America.

We’ve visited a handful of gin distilleries in Britain as well as a chic gin cocktail bar at the Shangri-La Hotel in Taipei. The gin craze has officially travelled from England to North AmericaAsia and beyond!

In Scotland we visited Edinburgh Gin for a tour and tasting before enjoying a road trip to the Isle of Islay, which is best known for its famous Islay whisky distilleries. One of the best things to do on the Isle of Islay is pay a visit to Bruichladdich Distillery, which produces its signature whisky as well as Botanist Gin.

In Brighton we visited a tiny micro-distillery called Brighton Gin, one of the best things to do in Brighton for G&T fans. We also stayed at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire to sip our way through the jaw-dropping home of renowned Bombay Sapphire.

Looking to plan the ultimate road trip of Canada to discover the best gins?

Our favourite Canadian gins include Ungava in Quebec, Tawse and Dillon’s in NiagaraMuskoka Brewery in Ontario cottage country, Kinsip House of Fine Spirits in Prince Edward County, North of 7 in Ottawa, Dixon’s in Guelph, Eau Claire Distillery in Alberta, Blackfox in Saskatoon, Ironworks Gin in Nova Scotia and Long Table Distillery in British Columbia.

A classic Basil Smash Drink features fresh lemon and premium gin.
A classic Basil Smash Drink features fresh lemon and premium gin.

Best Bartender Tools & Cocktail Equipment

Before hosting a swanky Basil Smash Cocktail party you’ll need to ensure you have the best bartender tools and cocktail equipment.

  • Cocktail Kit: cocktail kits are the perfect gift for newbie mixology fans as they include basic bartender tools like a jigger, shaker and spoon.
  • Cocktail Shaker: a bartender’s best friend. Purchase a premium cocktail shaker to muddle or shake up your favourite pink gin cocktails.
  • Cocktail Glassware: make sure your bar is stocked with a selection of unique glassware to show off your favourite cocktail creations.
  • Hawthorne Strainer: this unique strainer features tightly wound coils and perforated holes. It keeps ice and other large ingredients like lime wedges in your cocktail shaker rather than in the glass.
  • Bar Spoons: slender and long bar spoons are a must-have when stirring drinks.
  • Bottle Opener: easily open bottles of beer or cider with the flick of your wrist or purchase a corkscrew for fine wine.
  • Pouring Spout: once you’ve opened a new bottle of gin insert these affordable pourers to make cocktail assembly a breeze.
  • Cutting Board: purchase a petite cutting board for your bar to slice garnishes or citrus wedges like lime, orange, lemon or grapefruit.
  • Ice Bucket: chill bottles of gin quickly in an ice bucket or keep by the bar when muddling gin mixers into cool creations.
  • Ice Crusher: fans of the Mint Julep love an ice crusher.
  • Ice Cube Kit: we suggest purchasing a selection of ice cube trays. Silicone styles are our favourite as they’re easy to clean and are available in various shapes and sizes.
  • Jigger: use a jigger to accurately measure spirits, juices, syrups and shrubs.
  • Juicer: invest in an electronic juicer or buy an affordable hand-held to easily juice fresh citrus like lemons and limes.
  • Muddler: fans of the Mojito love a sturdy muddler to mix mint and lime. Muddler’s are handy for any cocktail featuring ingredients that need a pounding like fresh herbs or citrus wedges.
  • Citrus Peeler & Zester: adorn your craft cocktails with a thick citrus peel or finer ribbons of lime or lemon zest.
  • Rimmer: Bloody Mary and Caesar lovers should outfit their bar with a handy rimmer for salting and sugaring glassware.
We love serving a refreshing Gin Basil Smash cocktail on a hot day in the summer.
We love serving a refreshing Gin Basil Smash cocktail on a hot day in the summer.

Gin Basil Smash Cocktail Recipe Ingredients

The Gin Basil Smash is an easy mixed drink to make at home.

  • Gin: we suggest using Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray or Aviation Gin.
  • Lemon Juice: only use freshly squeezed lemon juice, never bottled citrus concentrate. You can taste the difference!
  • Simple Syrup: make homemade simple syrup and store it in your fridge to use in cocktails or as a coffee sweetener.
  • Basil: pluck fresh basil from your herb garden or purchase a bunch from your local farmers market or grocery store.
  • Soda Water: add a refreshing sparkle to your Basil Smash by adding a splash of Fever Tree Club Soda or Soda Stream.
  • Garnish: garnish with a sprig of fresh basil.
Gin Basil Smash Cocktail Photo Image.
Gin Basil Smash Cocktail Photo Image.

Gin Basil Smash Cocktail Recipe Tips

This cocktail recipe is easy to make at home, ready to serve in under 5 minutes!

We love pouring a Gin Smash in the summer at garden parties, cottage happy hour or at a sunny backyard barbecue.

Our Gin Basil Smash cocktail recipe serves one person. If you’re hosting a large gathering feel free to multiply the ingredients by the number of guests and muddle the drink in a punch bowl or jug.

We like to serve the drink in an ice filled rocks glass but you can also pour it into a Collins glass packed with crushed ice.

You May Also Enjoy These Gin Cocktail Recipes…

Now you're an expert on how to make the best easy Gin Basil Smash Cocktail recipe.
Now you’re an expert on how to make the best easy Gin Basil Smash Cocktail recipe.

How To Make An Easy Gin Basil Smash Cocktail

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5 from 1 vote

Gin Basil Smash Cocktail

How to make a refreshing Gin Basil Smash Cocktail. Our easy summer mixed drink recipe features tart lemon juice and herbaceous fresh basil.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: GIn Basil Smash
Servings: 1
Calories: 202kcal


  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Shot Glass
  • Cocktail Glass


  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 0.5 oz Simple Syrup
  • 10 Basil Leaves
  • Splash Sparkling Water


  • Muddle basil leaves in a cocktail shaker.
  • Add gin, lemon juice and simple syrup.
  • Shake with ice then strain into an ice filled rocks glass.
  • Top with a splash of sparkling water and garnish with fresh basil leaf.


Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.6g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.6g | Calcium: 10mg

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