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Summer cocktail: strawberry basil margarita (weekend time!)

Sometimes, you just need something sweet and fresh and boozy. Weekend time!


Two-thirds of your normal margarita equation, together with some fresh garden ingredients. Weekend time!

I also tested this cocktail with gin and lemon juice instead of tequila and lime, and found that version far too sweet and two-dimensional. The beauty of this recipe is that the slightly-smoky flavor of the tequila really shines here among the sweetness of the berries (which also cushion tequilas vegetal agave flavors in a really nice way). I now totally see why strawberry is such a popular flavor for those slushy “margarita”-type things they serve in restaurants.

Enough margarita snobbery for the moment. It’s weekend time!


Strawberry basil margarita

Makes 1, easily scalable

  • 3 large strawberries, stem removed and quartered (plus more for garnish, if desired)
  • 3 large basil leaves, roughly chopped (plus more for garnish, if desired)
  • 2 tsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce lime juice

– Sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp. sugar over the quartered strawberries in a small bowl or cup. Let sit for at least 15 minutes so the berries release juice.  Smash with a muddler, a fork, or the bottom of a smaller bowl or glass until mainly liquid with chunks of berries.

– In the bottom of a shaker, muddle together the basil and the remaining 1/2 tsp. sugar. Grind until basil is torn into bits.

– Add mashed strawberry mixture, tequila, and lime juice to the shaker. Fill at least halfway with ice, then shake and strain into a cocktail glass.  If there’s a good amount of fruit and juice left in the shaker, spoon into the glass as desired. (The less the strawberries are mashed, the more might stay behind in the shaker.)

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