Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Tequila & Mezcal Cocktails

Strawberry Basil Margarita

On a dramatically lit blue marble surface rests a margarita glass. It’s filled with crushed ice and a orange-flushed margarita, and garnished with a large sprig of basil and a lime wheel.
Image:

 Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

The Margarita is one of the most adored drinks of all time. Beloved by everyone from more casual drinkers to serious cocktail bartenders, the drink strikes that golden balance of tart and sweet, boozy and refreshing. On its own, it’s a near-perfect concoction, and there’s really no reason to mess with it.

But there’s no reason to not mess with it, either—that’s part of the fun of the Margarita. Indeed, messing around and adding ingredients to a Margarita is one of the most appealing aspects of the drink. And fresh, real ingredients can do wonders for the classic cocktail. This is exemplified with the Strawberry Basil Margarita, a variation that has risen to be almost as iconic as the original itself.

One of the best parts about the Strawberry Basil Margarita is that it’s not much more difficult to throw together than your traditional Marg. In this recipe from bartender Trudy Thomas of the Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, all that is required is muddling basil, strawberries, lime juice and simple syrup together, then adding tequila and Cointreau (or another triple sec if you’re not feeling up for a splurge). For extra sweetness and to enhance the fruitiness of the drink, the Strawberry Basil Margarita also receives the addition of a generous splash of maraschino liqueur. This won’t give the drink an intense cherry-like flavor, but it will accentuate the berry notes in a satisfying way.

Like any drink with strawberries and/or basil, this libation is one for the warmer months, when fruit is ripe and basil is lush. Of course, with international trade and global markets, you can find strawberries and basil year-round, but unless it’s summer where you are, they won’t be as good. Instead try a drink like the Blood Orange Margarita during the colder months, when that citrus is in season.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium strawberries

  • 3 basil leaves

  • 3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup

  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila

  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau

  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur

  • Garnish: basil leaf

  • Garnish: lime wheel

Steps

  1. In a shaker, muddle the strawberries, basil, lime juice and simple syrup.

  2. Add the tequila, Cointreau and maraschino liqueur and fill the shaker with ice, then shake until well-chilled.

  3. Double-strain into a Margarita glass or rocks glass filled with fresh ice.

  4. Garnish with an additional basil leaf and a lime wheel.