Few combinations can sing summertime quite like strawberry and basil, and you'll find this Strawberry Basil Cocktail is well-received at any warm-weather gathering!
It's all things light and refreshing, with bright strawberry flavor, fresh-squeezed citrus, and the fragrant addition of basil.
Thanks to a make-ahead strawberry syrup, this vodka-champagne cocktail comes together quickly and easily come happy hour, making entertaining easier on you!
However, I must warn you -- sip this one lightly! It tastes absolutely amazing, almost as if it has no booze at all, making it dangerously delicious!
If you love Strawberry Cocktails, you'll also love our Watermelon Martini! Bookmark the recipe in your internet browser for next time!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST STRAWBERRY BASIL COCKTAIL
- Make Simple Syrup | Combine berries, sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan and bring the mix to a boil. Remove from heat, add basil, if using, and allow to steep and cool, about 1 hour. Strain strawberries and discard. Add fresh lime or lemon juice and set the liquid aside until ready to use.
- Add Ingredients To the Shaker | Add the citrus vodka, orange liqueur, and strawberry simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Smack the Basil | This sounds a bit strange, but clapping the basil leaves in between your hands helps to release the oils. This small step keeps us from having to muddle the basil. Yes, please!
- Shake | Add the basil to the shaker, seal, and shake vigorously for 30 to 45 seconds. You want to shake it really good so all that basil flavor can really infuse into the cocktail
- Prepare the Glass | If you want to be extra fancy with your presentation, layer your ice with sliced strawberries!
- Pour and Serve | Pour the contents of the shaker into your prepared glass and top it off with champagne! Garnish with a sprig of basil and enjoy!
STRAWBERRY BASIL COCKTAIL INGREDIENTS
- Citrus Vodka
- Orange Liqueur
- Strawberry Simple Syrup
Love fruit cocktails? Try our Blueberry Cocktail next!
ABOUT THE VODKA
For an easy-sipping, champagne spritzer, we went with citrus vodka. Citrus vodka is vodka that has been infused with citrusy ingredients like lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit. It is a bit sweeter than regular vodka and not quite as "harsh" in flavor.
If you'd like your Strawberry Basil Cocktail to be on the dryer side, you can use regular vodka instead. And, if you'd like to skip the vodka altogether and go solely with champagne for the boozey addition, that totally works as well!
WHY USE LIQUEUR?
Liqueurs add sweetness and extra notes of flavor to both offset the booziness of the liquor and to round out flavors in the cocktail.
For this champagne-vodka spritzer, orange liqueur (like Grand Marnier or Cointreau) made the most sense as orange, basil, and strawberry go splendidly together!
Unlike the vodka, I would suggest not leaving this item out. It really does make a delicious difference in the way this summer cocktail sips.
STRAWBERRY SIMPLE SYRUP
You can't have a Strawberry Basil Cocktail without the strawberry! To easily infuse this vodka cocktail with big strawberry flavor, it's Strawberry Simple Syrup for the win. It comes together quickly on the stovetop and only requires about 10 minutes of prep!
Here's what you'll need:
- Strawberries (stems removed and halved)
- Granulated sugar
- Extra Basil (optional)
- Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
You can use anywhere from 1 to 2 ounces of it in your strawberry champagne spritzer. If you end up with leftover simple syrup, store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze it for up to 2 months!
If you'd like to infuse extra basil flavor into your cocktail, add a few basil leaves right into the strawberry mix after it comes off the stovetop and let it steep with the berries!
When it comes to the bubbles for this summer cocktail, I'm Team Brut Champagne.
Brut means the champagne will be on the dryer side and less sweet. You'll get just the right amount of sweetness from the citrus vodka, liqueur, and simple syrup. There's really no need for extra in the bubbles!
If you're looking to make this vodka cocktail a bit more cost-effective and you want to leave out the champagne altogether, feel free to sub in club soda or sparkling water in its place!
Last, but certainly not least -- the basil! Basil is a beautiful herb, both sweet and savory qualities, and it adds plenty of lovely aromatic notes to this Strawberry Cocktail.
6 MORE COCKTAIL RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Watermelon Martini | There's no denying the watermelon in this cocktail! It's absolutely perfect for summertime sipping!
- Cranberry Mimosas | Champagne cocktails do not get more delicious than this! A sugar rim and a splash of orange liqueur set it apart from the rest.
- Pomegranate Martini | Sweet, tart, and smooth sipping, this martini makes every occasion worth celebrating!
- Peach Daiquiris | This frosty peach cocktail makes your own backyard like a tropical getaway!
- Watermelon Margaritas | If you love watermelon and margaritas, this cocktail is a must-try!
- Ranch Water | If sweet cocktails aren't your thing, chill out with the refreshing, bubbly qualities of this Texas cocktail!
This Strawberry Basil Cocktail is light and refreshing, with bright strawberry flavor, fresh-squeezed citrus, and the fragrant addition of basil. It’s a beautiful and elegant vodka-champagne cocktail that comes together quickly and easily thanks to a make-ahead strawberry simple syrup!
- ⅔ cup roughly chopped strawberries
- ⅔ cup water
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- Generous pinch of salt
- About 2 tablespoons basil leaves (optional for extra basil flavor)
- 1.25 (or 2 ½ tablespoons) fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice
- 1 ounce citrus vodka
- ½ ounce orange liqueur
- 1 ounce strawberry simple syrup
- 2-3 ounces brut champagne (or club soda)
- 2 tablespoons basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
- Sliced strawberries for garnish, if desired
Add the strawberries, water, granulated sugar, and salt to a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally and allow the water to come to a boil.
As soon as the sugar dissolved, remove it from the heat, stir in the basil leaves, and allow the mixture to steep, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl or measuring pitcher and strain the strawberries. Discard the berries or save them for another use.
Stir in the lime juice (if using), transfer to a storage container, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Add the vodka, orange liqueur, simple syrup, and champagne to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Smack the basil leaves between your hands to release the oils, add to the shaker, and seal.
Shake vigorously for 30 to 45 seconds, and set aside.
Have ready a champagne flute or an 8-ounce glass. Fill with ice, layering it with the sliced strawberries for garnish, if desired.
Pour the contents of the shaker over the ice and top off with champagne. Garnish with a sprig of basil, if desired, serve, and enjoy!
Strawberry Simple Syrup makes about 1 cup (enough for 6-8 cocktails).