As we're swinging into some of the hottest days of summer, I'm craving light and refreshing cocktails and this Strawberry Basil Vodka Cocktail does just the trick! And if you're looking for a mocktail, omit the vodka and this will still be a perfectly refreshing summer mocktail as well.
If you're looking for a few other fun summer cocktails, try this Watermelon Mint Cocktail, this Simple White Sangria, or this Aperol Soda. And if you need something to snack on with your drinks, try this Focaccia with Rosemary and Shallots.
Why you'll love this recipe
- This cocktail comes together in about five minutes!
- Fresh basil and fresh strawberries really make this a perfect summer cocktail.
- It's easy to adapt this to be a mocktail - just omit the vodka and top with more sparkling water.
You'll only need a few ingredients to pull this cocktail together!
- Fresh basil: Be generous with the basil in this recipe! It may seem like a lot, but it gives such a soft, subtle flavor that you really want to pull out into the cocktail. Also, muddle the basil a LOT! Typically in muddling, you don't want to overdo it. In this case, I'd say, go to town! You want to pull as much flavor as possible from those leaves.
- Lime juice: Just a bit of lime juice goes a long way to brighten this drink.
- Strawberries: This is a great way to use up strawberries that might be a little bit past their prime. You're going to muddle them, so you'll never notice! I like to dice them fairly small, and then muddle.
- Simple syrup: This adds a bit of sweetness to the drink. You could also try it with this Blackberry Simple Syrup or this Orange Simple Syrup.
- Vodka: I like to use Prairie Organic Vodka, but any kind of vodka you enjoy will work well here. Of course, if you want to serve this as a mocktail, omit the alcohol.
- Sparkling water: To top off the cocktail. You can use any kind of sparkling water that you prefer (I like to use Topo Chico Sparkling Mineral Water or San Pellegrino).
See full recipe for detailed directions.
Substitutions & Variations
There are a few easy tweaks you can make to this Strawberry Basil Vodka Cocktail for an entirely different experience:
- Make it a mocktail: Omit the alcohol and make this a mocktail! You'll just use a bit more sparkling water.
- Add a flavored simple syrup: You can add some additional flavor with a flavored simple syrup, like this Blackberry Simple Syrup or this Orange Simple Syrup.
- Change up the alcohol: This would also be great with gin as the spirit, and tonic instead of sparkling water!
- Make a big batch: If you need to make a big batch of cocktails for an event, rather than individual glasses, you can make this recipe in a large party pitcher!
I have not tested this recipe with other variations, but if you do, let us know how it turns out in the comments! I always love to hear how you're adapting these recipes and use those as ideas for future recipes as well!
How to make a Strawberry Basil Vodka Cocktail
This cocktail comes together in just a few easy steps.
Thoroughly muddle the basil in the base of a highball glass. Make sure it's a sturdy glass!
Add the strawberries and continue to muddle. This is releasing the flavor from the berries.
Add ice, then pour in lime juice, simple syrup, and vodka, and gently stir to combine. Top with sparkling water and garnish.
Expert Cocktail Tips
- Make sure to really muddle! Muddling the basil and the strawberries is what really releases the flavor in this cocktail.
- You can make this a mocktail by omitting the vodka and using more sparkling water.
- Adjust the flavor slightly by using a flavored simple syrup.
- Have fun with the garnish! A strawberry slice on the rim of the glass brings this cocktail to the next level.
There is very little that you need to bring this cocktail together. You'll need a highball glass (I like this Vance Cut-Glass Highball Glass from Crate & Barrel) and a muddler (or you can use the handle of a wooden spoon). You'll also need a jigger to measure your ingredients and a spoon or cocktail stirrer.
This Strawberry Basil Vodka Cocktail will not store well, so I recommend making it when you're ready to drink or serve it!
If you need to do some prep beforehand, you can always dice the strawberries and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you need them (I would not do this more than a day in advance!).
Strawberry Basil Vodka Cocktail
- 6 fresh basil leaves plus more for garnish
- 3 fresh strawberries diced, plus more for garnish
- 2 ounces unflavored vodka
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon simple syrup
- sparkling water to top
- Thoroughly muddle the basil leaves in the bottom of a sturdy highball glass. Add the strawberries and continue to muddle.
- Add ice, then lime juice, simple syrup and vodka. Gently stir to combine. Top with sparkling water and garnish with a strawberry slice and additional basil. Serve immediately.