Combined ShapeCreated with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Combined ShapeCreated with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Combined ShapeCreated with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch.

Basil Gimlet Cocktail Recipe

A Basil Gimlet cocktail could not be any more perfect for welcoming warmer spring or summer days! This refreshing recipe will become one of your favorites to sip on a relaxing afternoon.

Hello, gin lovers!

Our gin journey is continuing today with a fresh twist on a tried and true classic. The Gin Gimlet became a favorite of mine during our time living in Los Angeles, because they made a truly killer one at The Dresden Room.

We started making them at home and realized that they were a delicious and easy way to enjoy gin if you’re not into a standar Gin and Tonic.

Now, we added an extra twist with a little fresh basil from the garden and the result is *chef’s kiss* perfection.

basil gimlet cocktail on a counter with flowers

The Gin Cocktails We All Love

Someone recently told me on Instagram that I’m “doing the Lord’s work” with all of these gin cocktail recipes and it made me laugh out loud!

I kind of get it though — I started this gin cocktail series because I feel like gin never gets the love that it deserves! If you’ve had a bad gin cocktail or a negative first experience with it, it’s easy to write gin off entirely.

Mixed poorly, I understand the general takeaway that gin is overpowering or just tastes like a forest of pine trees.

But mixed well? Ooooh, baby! Gin makes some of the most refreshing and drinkable cocktails around, in my opinion.

You can find a whole library of our best gin cocktails here:

History of the Gin Gimlet

You know I love cocktail history, and this one is particularly fascinating!

The gimlet can be traced back to 1867, when Rose’s Lime Cordial was first produced. It was created as a way to preserve lime juice without alcohol, and it was used by the British Royal Navy to help prevent scurvy.

A Rear Admiral named Sir Thomas Gimlette is said to have acted as naval doctor, serving Rose’s Lime with gin provide a dose of Vitamin C while masking the taste. From there, the gimlet became a popular drink among the sailors.

Another (totally credible) source of the name “gimlet” could have been the tool of the same name. A gimlet is also a hand-held drill, probably used for boring holes on Royal Navy ships.

Either way, a great piece of trivia to share while you’re mixing cocktails for your guests!

basil gimlet

Why Add Basil?

The addition of basil to a traditional gin gimlet is a perfect way to elevate the drink.

It takes it from a simple citrus flavor profile to something that’s more complex and, if possible, even more refreshing! I love that it adds a botanical touch, and that it gives the cocktail an additional layer of flavor.

Adding basil also creates a gimlet that’s perfect for sipping on different occasions! It’s great for:

  • alfresco meals
  • summer parties
  • sipping with salads, fish, and other light meals
  • wedding or baby showers
  • cocktails at home with friends

The Best Gin for a Gimlet

Basil Gimlets are interesting because they can work with gins that are either more citrusy or more botanical.

A classic, simple choice is Beefeater London Dry Gin. It’s easy to get your hands on, and a midrange price point. It also creates a nice base to highlight both the citrusy lime and fresh basil flavors.

You could also try to make your own gin and see how you prefer this option!

basil gimlet cocktail on a counter with flowers

Ingredients You’ll Need

You’ll just need a few simple, fresh ingredients to mix your own Basil Gimlet at home.

Gin. Use what you have on hand! No need to hold out for any specific gin (even the ones we recommend). I always would rather have someone try a cocktail than put it off because you don’t have the exact items we recommend.

Limes. I always love to use fresh fruit juices when I make cocktail. While the original gimlet was made with Rose’s Lime Cordial, I think the use of fresh lime juice and simple syrup makes a more sophisticated drink.

Simple Syrup. If you don’t have any on hand, make your own! Heat one part sugar and one part water in a saucepan until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Remove from the heat and let it cool. You can save it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four weeks!

Basil. A few fresh basil leaves are what make this signature cocktail extra refreshing!

Bar Tools

To make our Basil Gimlet, you’ll need just a couple of bar tools as well.

Muddler. I like to use a muddler with a nylon head so that it doesn’t scratch or damage your other bar tools. It doesn’t need to be expensive or fancy!

Cocktail Shaker. A standard cocktail shaker with a strainer on the top is a great addition to your bar tools as you’re exploring new cocktail recipes.

Measuring Shot Glass. If you don’t have a jigger to measure your ounces, this shot glass is extremely handy! It measures ounces, tablespoons, teaspoons, and more. However, if you don’t have either, don’t worry. An ounce is about a four-count pour. Just pour and count 1-2-3-4 to measure approximately an ounce. (A two-count is a half ounce, and so on.)

How to Make a Basil Gimlet Cocktail

Let’s make one!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1 oz lime juice (about 1 large lime)
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • ice
  • extra basil for garnish
  1. Place 8 fresh basil leaves into an empty cocktail shaker. Use the muddler to gently muddle the leaves by pressing firmly down on them. You should start to see the muddler make marks on the leaves, and smell the fresh basil as it releases its scent. Muddle until you’ve gotten all the leaves.
  2. Fill shaker halfway with ice.
  3. Add gin, lime, and simple syrup. Put the lid on your shaker and shake vigorously.
  4. Remove the cap and strain your Basil Gimlet into a coupe glass (or whichever glass you prefer).
  5. Add extra basil for garnish if you like.
cocktail in coupe glass with basil garnish

More Ideas to Pair with Your Basil Gimlet

If you’re making Basil Gimlets at home, hopefully you’re also doing something fun while you sip them!

Here are a few of our best ideas that would pair well with your cocktail.

Leave a comment and rate our recipe below if you love it! xoxo

basil gimlet cocktail
Yield: 1 Basil Gimlet Cocktail

Basil Gimlet Cocktail Recipe

basil gimlet

A Basil Gimlet cocktail is refreshing, easy, and a perfect spring or summer cocktail.

Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • 8 basil leaves

Instructions

    1. Place 8 fresh basil leaves into an empty cocktail shaker. Use the muddler to gently muddle the leaves by pressing firmly down on them. You should start to see the muddler make marks on the leaves, and smell the fresh basil as it releases its scent. Muddle until you've gotten all the leaves.
    2. Fill shaker halfway with ice.
    3. Add gin, lime, and simple syrup. Put the lid on your shaker and shake vigorously.
    4. Remove the cap and strain your Basil Gimlet into a coupe glass (or whichever glass you prefer).
    5. Add extra basil for garnish if you like.

Notes

To make our Basil Gimlet, you'll need just a couple of bar tools as well.

Muddler. I like to use a muddler with a nylon head so that it doesn't scratch or damage your other bar tools. It doesn't need to be expensive or fancy!

Cocktail Shaker. A standard cocktail shaker with a strainer on the top is a great addition to your bar tools as you're exploring new cocktail recipes.

Measuring Shot Glass. If you don't have a jigger to measure your ounces, this shot glass linked above is extremely handy! It measures ounces, tablespoons, teaspoons, and more. However, if you don't have either, don't worry. An ounce is about a four-count pour. Just pour and count 1-2-3-4 to measure approximately an ounce. (A two-count is a half ounce, and so on.)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. This means that I make at small commission should you make a purchase via one of these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you as always for your support!

Free Email Series

Do Disneyland Right

5 Lessons for a Magical Visit, from a Former Cast Member

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Free Email Series

Do Disneyland Right

5 Lessons for a Magical Visit, from a Former Cast Member

Skip to Recipe Scroll back to top