Give the classic Gin Basil Smash a summer upgrade with the addition of fresh blackberries! This stunning cocktail is vibrant, refreshing, and herbaceous.

The Gin Basil Smash is a modern yet classic cocktail, making its debut in the summer of 2008 in Hamburg Germany by Jörg Meyer. Meyer originally named the cocktail the Gin Pesto—fitting.

pink cocktail in a tall glass topped with blackberries and basil leaves

The classic Gin Basil Smash Cocktail

Refreshing and herbaceous, the Gin Basil Smash is the ideal summer cocktail. If you want to keep things classic, try the original recipe from Jörg Meyer.

He uses a lot of basil—which I love. But for some it can be a bit much. Try it first with 6 basil leaves, then add or subtract in your next round of cocktails depending on your preference.

  • 12 basil leaves
  • 2 ounces gin
  • ¾ ounces fresh lemon juice
  • ⅓–¾ ounces simple syrup—depends on how sweet you like your drinks

How to make a Blackberry Gin Basil Smash (step-by-step photos)

grid of images showing how to make a gin basil smash: adding blackberries and honey to glass, muddling the berries, adding basil, muddling the basil with the berries, adding gin, adding lemon juice

1. muddle the blackberries and honey together until jammy.

2. add the basil and muddle until fragrant.

grid of images showing the process of making a blackberry gin basil smashL adding gin, adding lemon juice, shaking the cocktail

3. add the gin and the lemon juice.

4. secure the lid and vigorously shake until the cocktail is thoroughly chilled.

5. strain the cocktail through a fine mesh strainer and pour over ice into Collins glasses or rocks glasses.

a pink cocktail being poured over ice into a tall glass

Variations on the Gin Basil Smash

Aside from the recipe I’m sharing today, feel free to put your own spin on this refreshing cocktail! Switch up one or two (or all!) components of the drink with these ideas:

  • Herbs: thyme, rosemary, mint, tarragon
  • Liquor: vodka, tequila
  • Citrus: lime, grapefruit
  • Simple syrup: honey, maple syrup, agave
pink cocktail in a tall glass topped with blackberries and basil leaves

Barware you’ll need…

  • Cocktail shaker—I prefer a good ‘ol restaurant shaker (aka Boston Shaker) over the very classy looking shakers with a lid (Cobbler shaker). Why? They’re far easier to use and create less mess. Once you get the hang of using a Boston shaker, you’ll never go back to the Cobbler shaker and the constant struggle of a stuck lid. I prefer a classic Boston shaker with a metal cup and a glass cup, but you can also find tin-on-tin Boston cocktail shakers with two metal cups.
  • Muddler
  • Collins glasses (or rocks glass)
  • Fine mesh sieve
  • Shot glass

More cocktail recipes you may like…

pink cocktail in a tall glass topped with blackberries and basil leaves

Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or comment below if you make this Blackberry Gin Basil Smash!

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Blackberry Gin Basil Smash

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cocktails 1x


The best of summer comes together in this herbaceous gin cocktail made with blackberries, basil, and fresh lemon juice.


  • 8 blackberries
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 4 ounces gin
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Chilled club soda
  • Blackberries and basil leaves for garnish


Add blackberries and honey to a cocktail shaker and muddle until jammy. Add basil and lightly muddle until fragrant.

Add gin and lemon juice,  fill shaker with ice, secure lid, and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice and top off with a splash of club soda.

Garnish with blackberries and basil leaves.

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Originally published 6/23/2017

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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  1. This drink looks and sounds amazing! I love gin and berries so pretty sure this would be my kind of drink!

  2. Solid recipe!! Love basil mixed with all the berries in a beverage. As always…I tweak a recipe to my preference. Made this tonight and as yummy as it was…just 1 oz of lemon juice was sufficient.