Go Messy or Go Hungry

Strawberry Basil Margarita Recipe

Jul 3, 2019 | Drink, Recipes

Strawberry basil margarita recipe | Go Messy or Go Hungry

In the however-many-years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve only ever posted one drink recipe! That is certainly not reflective of the amount that I enjoy a good cocktail. But the reality is, at home I’m typically drinking straight whiskey or straight tequila (with a splash of lime). Or maybe wine.


Which really, I started doing because of my digestive problems; alcohol — while not a FODMAP — can be irritating to the gut, and adding in a bunch of sugary syrups and God only knows what else only increases the chance that I’ll feel super gross the next day. But I don’t think anybody needs me to take pictures and tell them how to pour whiskey into a glass and drink it. Thus, the lack of drink recipes in these parts.


But, last weekend I was bored but feeling creative, and then I remembered that Emma over at She Can’t Eat What? had posted something strawberry-basil related recently. And I just so happened to have both strawberries and basil in the refrigerator. And I thought to myself, you know what sounds really good? A strawberry basil margarita, that’s what.

In typical Maria fashion, you can see that my serving size is still in a tiny glass. If you know me at all, you know that I have a love for tiny kitchen-related things (we may have a whole shelf devoted to small glasses in our cabinet…), and that love extends to drinks too. Smaller drinks means I can have more of them! Yes, I play psychological games with myself.



You can totally serve yourself in a normal sized glass and even add some sparkling water into the mix. Or you can join the tiny drink party! (Maybe I can make this a trend, like tiny houses? Who needs a tiny house when you can have a TINY DRINK?! … no? well, maybe I’ll work on it.)

The strawberry basil syrup does take a small amount of preparation, but it’s still super low maintenance. You just throw some strawberries and water in a pot, simmer for 10ish minutes, take it off the heat and throw some basil in, let it sit there, strain and enjoy! I can confirm that if you are not patient enough to wait for it to cool off completely, a few ice cubes in your drink will do the trick perfectly. ?


Strawberry Basil Margaritas

Yield | 2 margaritas
Strawberry basil simple syrup based on this recipe. Although simple syrup typically calls for equal amounts water and sugar, I drastically reduced the amount of sugar I used here. My stomach doesn't like super sugary drinks, and I've managed to convince myself that I don't either. Feel free to increase the amount of sugar you use if you desire, but keep in mind the strawberries have plenty of sweetness on their own (especially if yours are as ripe as mine)!
Additionally, the amounts here are really just starting points — if you don't have an entire box of strawberries or you want to use more basil it's totally fine!


Strawberry Basil syrup

  • 1 16-oz box strawberries washed and hulled
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar plus more to taste
  • Juice from ¼ lime or to taste
  • 2 small sprigs basil

Margaritas (2 servings)

  • 2 oz Tequila
  • 4 oz strawberry basil syrup or to taste
  • Sparkling water optional
  • Basil to garnish


For the syrup

  • Combine water, strawberries, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir frequently to dissolve sugar and break up strawberries. Eventually they will soften and you can break them up further with a spoon to get the juices out.
  • Simmer for 8-10 minutes. You can taste the syrup and add more sugar at this point if you desire. Remove from heat.
  • Tear basil into pieces and stir into the syrup, making sure it is entirely covered by the water. Let sit, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • Strain syrup into a glass or other airtight container add the lemon juice. Allow to cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.

For the margaritas

  • Combine tequila, syrup, and sparkling water if desired in a glass. Add ice and stir. Garnish with basil and enjoy!

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