A garden full of basil is a sure sign of late summer and the best way to take advantage of it is to make this fragrant basil simple syrup! With a batch of this on hand you can prep easy beverages, cocktails, and desserts.
I love to pair herbal flavors with both sweet and savory dishes all year round. In summer, basil is king! Adding it to a simple syrup was a no-brainer and makes it so easy to add a fragrant, verdant flavor profile to beverages and desserts.
Simple syrups are so much more effective in bringing concentrated flavor to recipes than just tossing in the herbs or spices. In my Stone Fruit Sangria, I steep star anise in a simple syrup to add a spicy note. In this Peach Trifle with Angel Food Croutons a rosemary syrup perfectly compliments the sweet peaches and whipped cream. Try my Blueberry Simple Syrup or Strawberry Simple Syrup next!
Just two ingredients are needed to make this recipe. It's easy to double this recipe to make a big batch for all your summer dining needs!
- Basil - Use fresh green leaves for the best flavor in your simple syrup. Rinse the bunch well and shake or pat dry the leaves.
- Granulated Sugar - Granulated sugar is used to sweeten the syrup but also helps in thickening the mixture for a syrup consistency.
I include ingredient notes here when I think they’ll be helpful, including ways to source, any preparation tips, or why I've chosen a particular ingredient. Be sure to check out the recipe card below for the full list of ingredients and their quantities!
A batch of basil simple syrup can be started in just a few minutes. Most of the preparation time is in steeping and cooling the syrup!
Combine the washed basil leaves, sugar, and 1 cup of water in a medium sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow the leaves to steep in the syrup for 30 minutes. Strain the syrup using a mesh strainer and transfer it to a small pitcher or jar.
Use It in Refreshing Beverages
Basil simple syrup makes a delicious lemonade or limeade. Add these ingredients to a glass of ice for a summer sipper:
- 1 ounce basil simple syrup
- 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice
- 6 ounces water
- basil leaves or citrus slices for garnish
Make a big pitcher of basil limeade to share with friends at your next backyard barbecue. One batch of this recipe will make 8 servings of limeade.
Use It in Desserts
Basil pairs well with many fruits and is a great way to accent desserts. Use basil simple syrup in these dessert ideas:
- Marinate strawberry slices in basil syrup before adding them to a strawberry shortcake.
- Brush vanilla cake layers with basil syrup before adding a layer of lemon curd . Frost the cake with a lemon buttercream frosting.
- Add basil syrup to cubed pound cake for layering with whipped cream in a berry trifle.
- Drizzle basil syrup over a scoop of Sweet Corn Ice Cream for an unexpected treat.
Use It in Cocktails
I love a cocktail that has sweet, sour, and herbal notes in good balance. This basil simple syrup would be a great addition to a cocktail bar at any gathering.
To make a Basil Vodka Gimlet, combine the ingredients listed below into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 1 minute. Strain the liquid into a cocktail glass and serve with a basil leaf as garnish.
- 1 ounce basil simple syrup
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 3 basil leaves
Store your basil simple syrup in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
If you want a perfectly clear syrup, line your mesh strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth.
Only use fresh basil leaves for this recipe. If you use dried basil you will lose out on that fresh "green" flavor note in the syrup.
Yes. Freeze the syrup in airtight freezer-safe container and you can store it for up to three months.
The flavor in basil simple syrup is subtle, so granulated sugar is the best sweetener to use that won't mask it.
More Basil Recipes
Basil is such a versatile herb and finds its way into so many of my favorite recipes. Try any of these recipes to feature basil at your table:
Basil Simple Syrup will make a refreshing beverage to serve with these recipes for a summer dinner menu:
Try It and Share
Make this basil simple syrup and show us how you use it! Tag your photo with #planeatpostrepeat and mention me @planeatpostrepeat on Instagram or Facebook. I can give you a virtual high five and thank you for cooking one of my recipes! Comment below with any questions and please leave a review so others can find this recipe more easily.
Fragrant Basil Simple Syrup
- 2 cups basil leaves (lightly packed, about 1.5-2 ounces)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Wash basil leaves and pat or shake them dry.
- Combine the leaves with the sugar and 1 cup of water in a medium sauce pan. stir everything together, bruising the leaves a bit.
- Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it reaches a rolling boil, about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool and steep for 30 minutes (or more).
- Strain the syrup and store it in a jar or another airtight container in the refrigerator.
Nutrition facts are sometimes provided below and are calculated using an online calculator. With specific brands of ingredients and additions, omissions, or substitutions the nutrition facts may change. We encourage you to use your own nutrition facts caculator to obtain the most accurate nutrition facts for your meal.