Strawberry Basil Margarita Recipe: The Perfect Summer Cocktail

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Hey there, cocktail connoisseurs and casual sippers alike! Today, we’re diving into the juicy, refreshing world of the Strawberry Basil Margarita recipe. If you’re someone who appreciates a little creative twist on classic recipes, this drink is a must-try.

Why You Should Try a Strawberry Basil Margarita

Ever wondered why you should indulge in a Strawberry Basil Margarita? The answer’s simple – it’s a refreshing blend of sweet, tangy, and herbaceous notes. This drink beautifully embodies the spirit of summer, making it a perfect companion for those hot, sunny days. Plus, it’s pretty much the grown-up version of a strawberry slushy with a splash of tequila and a touch of sophistication from basil.

The History of Margaritas

Origin of Margaritas

Let’s hit the rewind button and venture back to the origin of margaritas. Although the exact origin is a subject of numerous tales, most cocktail historians agree that this delightful drink made its debut in Mexico in the early 20th century. It was a simple mix – tequila, lime, and a dash of Triple Sec. A humble beginning for a cocktail that would soon conquer the world!

Evolution of Margarita Flavors

Fast forward to today, and margaritas have evolved into a cocktail chameleon, taking on countless flavors from fruits, herbs, and even spices. Enter our star of the show: this Strawberry Basil Margarita recipe. This version is a recent yet popular twist on the traditional recipe, proving once again that when it comes to margaritas, the possibilities are endless.

Understanding the Ingredients

To fully appreciate the magic of this Strawberry Basil Margarita recipe, let’s delve a bit deeper into its fascinating cast of ingredients. This cocktail is a well-orchestrated symphony of flavors, each ingredient playing a vital role.

The Role of Strawberries in the Cocktail

First up are the strawberries, the titular stars of our cocktail. When it comes to adding a burst of sweetness and vibrant color to cocktails, few fruits can compete with strawberries.

Fresh strawberries lend a natural sweetness that can cut through the potency of the alcohol, making the drink more enjoyable, especially for those who aren’t big fans of the strong tequila taste. But their role isn’t merely about the taste.

The bright red hue they impart makes the Strawberry Basil Margarita a treat for the eyes. This visual appeal can heighten the overall cocktail-drinking experience, turning a casual drink into a festive occasion.

The Importance of Basil in the Mix

Now, let’s talk about the other half of our star duo: the basil. The inclusion of basil in a margarita might sound odd to the uninitiated. Yet, the complex sweet, peppery flavor of this aromatic herb complements the sweetness of the strawberries, creating a beautiful depth of flavor.

Tip: Grow your own basil as part of a cocktail herb garden. Check out our guide on how to grow basil.

The basil leaves are typically muddled, or lightly crushed, to release their essential oils, which infuse the drink with a delightful, refreshing aroma. It’s this uniquely refreshing note that makes the Strawberry Basil Margarita a standout in a sea of cocktails.

Tequila: The Base of Margaritas

Tequila is the cornerstone of any margarita, and the Strawberry Basil Margarita is no exception. This spirit is derived from the blue agave plant native to Mexico, and it lends its distinctive flavor profile to the drink.

The quality and type of tequila can greatly impact the outcome of your cocktail.

For a margarita, a good-quality silver or blanco tequila is typically preferred. These types are unaged and carry a strong, robust agave flavor that can shine through the other ingredients.

Patrón Silver Tequila, 750ml, 80 Proof
  • Handcrafted with 100% Weber Blue Agave

The Use of Cointreau and Other Orange Liqueurs

Cointreau, or another orange liqueur like Grand Marnier or Triple Sec, is an important ingredient in the traditional margarita recipe. It adds a citrusy sweetness that complements the tartness of the lime and the natural sweetness of the strawberries.

The choice between these liqueurs often comes down to personal preference.

Cointreau is known for its balanced, sweet-bitter taste and higher alcohol content.

Grand Marnier offers a more complex flavor with hints of toffee and almonds, while Triple Sec is sweeter and less nuanced.

The Balance of Sweet and Sour: Lime Juice and Simple Syrup

Finally, the lime juice and simple syrup. These two are the balancing act in your Strawberry Basil Margarita. Lime juice adds the sour kick, a crucial counterpart to the sweetness from the strawberries and simple syrup.

Simple syrup, a mix of sugar and water, adds sweetness to the cocktail and helps mellow out the tequila’s robustness. You can adjust the levels of lime juice and simple syrup based on your taste preference.

When combined, these ingredients create a layered, balanced cocktail that is at once sweet, tart, and subtly herbaceous. Now that’s the beauty of a well-made Strawberry Basil Margarita!

Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Perfect Strawberry Basil Margarita


Now that we’ve explored the essential elements of a Strawberry Basil Margarita recipe, it’s time to step into the role of the mixologist and bring this tantalizing cocktail to life. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think! Let’s get started.

Essential Equipment for Making a Strawberry Basil Margarita

Preparing your Strawberry Basil Margarita to perfection does require a few essential tools. Here’s a quick list:

  • Cocktail Shaker: This is essential for combining and chilling your ingredients. If you don’t have one, a mason jar with a tight lid can serve as a good substitute.
  • Muddler: This tool helps crush the strawberries and basil to release their flavors. If you don’t have one, the back of a spoon can work in a pinch.
  • Jigger: This measuring tool ensures you get the right proportions of each ingredient. However, any measuring tool, like a measuring cup or spoon, can work too.
  • Citrus Juicer: A juicer will help you get the most out of your limes, but if you’re strong, your hands will do.
  • Cocktail Strainer: This separates the solids from the liquid when you’re pouring the cocktail into your glass. No strainer? No problem. A slotted spoon can help you out.
  • Blender: Only necessary if you’re going for the frozen variant of the Strawberry Basil Margarita.
  • Glasses: Margarita glasses are traditional but any glass will do. Remember, it’s what’s inside that counts!

With these tools at your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to making an incredible Strawberry Basil Margarita. Enjoy the process and the delicious result!

Gather Your Ingredients

To make a single serving, you’ll need:

  • Silver tequila
  • Cointreau (or any orange liqueur of your choice)
  • Fresh limes (juiced)
  • Simple syrup
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Ice cubes
  • Extra strawberries and basil leaves for garnish

Muddle the Strawberries and Basil

Start by adding the strawberries and basil to a shaker.

Use a muddler or the back of a spoon to gently crush them together until the strawberries are broken down and the basil has released its aroma.

This process allows the flavors to mix and infuse into each other, creating a delicious base for your cocktail.

Add the Remaining Ingredients

Next, pour in the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and simple syrup. Top with a generous handful of ice cubes.

Shake It Up

Now for the fun part: shaking! Close the shaker securely and give it a good, vigorous shake for about 10-15 seconds. This not only mixes the ingredients together but also chills the cocktail, making it extra refreshing.

Strain and Serve

Grab a margarita glass (pro-tip: pre-chill your glass for an extra cool cocktail) and strain the mixture into it. You can choose to serve it “up” without ice, or over fresh ice, depending on your preference.

Garnish and Enjoy

Finally, garnish your Strawberry Basil Margarita with a strawberry and a basil leaf or two. And there you have it – your homemade, refreshingly delicious cocktail is ready for sipping!

Pro Tips for the Best Outcome

And of course, we can’t forget the pro tips! Remember, the quality of your ingredients matters. Using fresh, ripe strawberries and basil will make a noticeable difference in your cocktail. Likewise, opt for a good-quality tequila and orange liqueur.

Don’t forget to taste as you go and adjust the lime juice and simple syrup to suit your palate. And remember to serve your Strawberry Basil Margarita well-chilled for the best experience. Cheers to your mixology success!

Variations of Strawberry Basil Margarita

Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe, why not let your creative juices flow and experiment with some interesting variations of the Strawberry Basil Margarita? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Frozen Strawberry Basil Margarita

Craving a frozen delight? Transform your Strawberry Basil Margarita into a chilly, slushie-like treat. Add the standard ingredients (muddled strawberries and basil, tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and simple syrup) to a blender. Instead of shaking it with ice, add about a cup of crushed ice to the blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth and slushie-like. Pour into a glass, garnish as usual, and enjoy your frosty cocktail!

Strawberry Basil Margarita with a Twist

Feel like adding an adventurous twist to your drink? Consider adding a touch of heat with jalapeño or smokiness with a splash of mezcal. For the jalapeño variant, slice a jalapeño and muddle it with the strawberries and basil. Its spice will add an exciting kick that contrasts beautifully with the sweet and sour notes of the drink. For a smoky twist, replace half of the tequila with mezcal, a spirit known for its unique smoky flavor.

Strawberry Basil Margarita Pitcher for Parties

Hosting a party or get-together? Impress your guests with a large pitcher of Strawberry Basil Margarita! Simply multiply the recipe based on how many guests you have. Add all the ingredients to a large pitcher, mix well, and chill in the fridge before serving. When it’s time to serve, stir the mixture well, pour into glasses filled with ice, and garnish individually. Your guests will appreciate the refreshing, shared cocktail!

These variations will keep your cocktail game exciting, and the best part is, you can continue to innovate and create your own personalized versions of the Strawberry Basil Margarita. Let the mixology adventures begin!

G.E.T. P-4090-PC-CL-EC Shatterproof Plastic Lemonade/Margarita Pitcher, 90 Fluid Ounce, Clear, Set…
  • Easy Pour Spout – Angled pour spout is specially designed to prevent dripping and dribbling when pouring ideal for lemonade, margaritas and iced tea

Pairing Your Strawberry Basil Margarita


Ever wondered what dishes to pair with your Strawberry Basil Margarita recipe? The exciting world of food and drink pairings can elevate your culinary experiences, turning simple meals into gourmet feasts. The Strawberry Basil Margarita, with its balanced sweet, sour, and herbaceous notes, offers some interesting pairing possibilities.

Best Foods to Pair with Your Margarita

The Strawberry Basil Margarita is a versatile cocktail that can be paired with a wide range of dishes. Given its Mexican roots, it pairs wonderfully with traditional Mexican foods. The tangy and fruity flavors can cut through the richness of dishes like tacos, nachos, enchiladas, or chiles rellenos, balancing out the meal.

For a sublime pairing, consider pairing your margarita with spicy foods. The heat from dishes like spicy barbecue chicken, grilled shrimp with a spicy rub, or even spicy Asian foods, can be balanced by the sweet and refreshing elements of the cocktail.

On the other hand, if you’re enjoying your cocktail during a light lunch or brunch, it goes perfectly with a fresh salad or grilled fish. The basil in the drink complements fresh greens, while the acidity in the margarita cuts through the fatty flavors of the fish, refreshing the palate.

Occasions for Serving Strawberry Basil Margaritas

As for occasions, any gathering under the sun is a good excuse for a Strawberry Basil Margarita. Given its refreshing qualities, it’s an excellent choice for a sunny afternoon barbecue, a garden party, or a casual get-together with friends. It’s also a great cocktail for festive occasions like Cinco de Mayo celebrations or summer holiday parties.

In the end, the best food pairing is one that suits your palate. So, feel free to experiment with different combinations to find your personal favorite. After all, the joy of a good meal (and drink) lies as much in the exploration as in the eating (and sipping)! Enjoy discovering the perfect pairing for your Strawberry Basil Margarita.


Whether you’re a seasoned bartender or a home cocktail enthusiast, the Strawberry Basil Margarita is a wonderful addition to your repertoire. It’s fresh, it’s vibrant, and it’s waiting for you to shake it up. So here’s to making the most of summer with a Strawberry Basil Margarita in hand. Cheers!

If you’re looking for more great herbal cocktails, check out our Cilantro-Lime Margarita recipe.

Strawberry Basil Margarita


This Strawberry Basil Margarita is a refreshing twist on the classic cocktail, combining the sweetness of ripe strawberries with the subtle herbaceousness of fresh basil. The recipe involves muddling strawberries and basil, then shaking them with tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and simple syrup. Served chilled with a garnish, it’s the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and herbal notes for any occasion.

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Muddler
  • Jigger
  • Cocktail strainer
  • Margarita glasses
  • Blender
  • Citrus Juicer
  • 2 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 ounce Cointreau (or any orange liqueur of your choice)
  • 1 ounce lime juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 2-3 strawberries (fresh)
  • 3-4 basil leaves (fresh)
  • ice cubes
  • extra strawberries and basil leaves (for garnish)

Standard Version

  1. Muddle the strawberries and basil in a shaker.
  2. Add the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and simple syrup to the shaker.
  3. Top the mixture with a handful of ice cubes.
  4. Shake the mixture for about 10-15 seconds.
  5. Strain the mixture into a margarita glass, with or without fresh ice.
  6. Garnish with a strawberry and a basil leaf or two.

Frozen Variation

  1. Add the muddled strawberries and basil, tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and simple syrup to a blender.
  2. Instead of shaking it with ice, add about a cup of crushed ice to the blender.
  3. Blend until the mixture is smooth and slushie-like.
  4. Pour into a margarita glass and garnish.

While this recipe does not specifically call for salt or sugar on the rim, either is a common addition to margaritas and could be used according to your taste preference. Salt can enhance the flavors and cut through the sweetness of the cocktail, while sugar can add a touch more sweetness and balance out the tartness of the lime. If you’d like to add either, just run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass, then dip the glass into a plate of coarse salt or sugar.

FAQ: Strawberry Basil Margarita Recipe

Is margarita better frozen or on the rocks?

Both styles have their merits. Frozen margaritas are delightfully slushy and extra refreshing, perfect for hot days. Margaritas on the rocks, however, allow the distinct flavors to shine more vividly. It’s really about personal preference.

What makes a margarita taste better?

Using fresh ingredients, like ripe strawberries and fresh basil, can elevate a margarita’s taste. Quality tequila and balancing the sweet and sour elements also play a key role in enhancing the overall flavor.

What is better than triple sec for margaritas?

Cointreau or Grand Marnier can be considered higher-end alternatives to Triple Sec for margaritas. They offer a more nuanced, balanced flavor that can add complexity to your margarita.

Should you shake or stir a margarita?

You should shake a margarita. Shaking not only mixes the ingredients thoroughly but also chills the cocktail, making it extra refreshing.

What is the 321 margarita rule?

The 321 margarita rule is a simple formula for making a classic margarita: 3 parts tequila, 2 parts lime juice, and 1 part Cointreau (or any orange liqueur). It’s a reliable guide to achieving a well-balanced margarita.

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