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This Basil Grapefruit Martini is a light, refreshing & herby vodka cocktail that is perfect for spring. Made with a homemade basil simple syrup, this cocktail will impress your guests.
Martinis don’t have to be boring — there are lots of creative fruity martini variations you can make. For example, try this Raspberry Martini, this Strawberry Martini, this Amaretto Martini or this Lemon Basil Martini.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Basil Syrup — The homemade Basil Simple Syrup is what sets this martini apart. The basil syrup adds much more basil flavor to this cocktail that just muddling herbs in the bottom of the shaker does.
- Tart & Sweet — This martini has just the right balance of flavors between the tart grapefruit and sweet basil syrup.
- Spring Cocktail — This cocktail can be made year-round, but it is particularly enjoyable in spring, right as herb season is starting.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Grapefruit Juice: You can use whatever type of grapefruit juice you like. White grapefruit juice, pink grapefruit juice or ruby red grapefruit juice will all work well for this cocktail, but the type of juice will change the color of the cocktail.
- Basil Leaves: You will need about a handful of fresh basil leaves to make the basil syrup. Dried basil leaves won’t work for this recipe.
- Vodka: Use your preferred type of vodka. If you have it on hand, grapefruit vodka or another type of citrus vodka will add a bit more fruity flavor. For a vodka substitute, use blanco tequila or white rum.
- Lemon Juice: Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the brightest flavor.
- Water & Sugar: A combination of water and sugar is used along with the basil leaves to make the basil syrup.
How To Make A Grapefruit Martini With Basil
Step 1: Heat the basil leaves, sugar and water together in a saucepan, stirring occasionally.
Step 2: Once the sugar has completely dissolved, remove the basil leaves and let the syrup cool to room temperature.
Step 3: Add the grapefruit juice, basil syrup, vodka and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain.
- Store leftover basil simple syrup in the fridge. This recipe will make a bit of extra basil syrup. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. You can use the leftovers for basil lemonade or for this Lemon Basil Martini.
- Chill the martini glasses. Since martinis are not served over ice, chilling the glasses in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes before serving will help keep your cocktail extra cold while sipping it.
- Make it a mocktail. For a mocktail, just leave out the vodka. You could also add a dash of club soda or 7Up for a bit of fizz.
You could replace the basil syrup with muddled basil leaves instead, but you probably won’t get as strong a basil flavor. You may also want to add in a dash of simple syrup to balance out the tart grapefruit.
Yes. You can use a storebought basil syrup instead of making your own. You may need to adjust the amount of basil syrup added as store bought syrups vary brand to brand.