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A strawberry gin cocktail begins with a muddle of juicy berries and a handful of sweet basil and is entirely worthy of a front porch frenzy.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
A Refreshing Strawberry Gin Smash!
Todays strawberry gin cocktail combines several flavors and a mixer for balance. I am introducing lime juice, sugar, fresh basil leaves, and fresh strawberries. Refreshing? Ahh YES! And balanced because I am cutting it with club soda.
You’ll mix this up in a tall Tom Collins glass and drink it super chilled for this ‘beat the heat’ tincture that screams summer. Strawberry basil gin cocktails work best of course with fresh ingredients. If however you are without, you may certainly get away with a super scant amount of strawberry syrup, and either bottled lime or lemon juice. Also, a single basil leaf, muddled, goes a long way in terms of punching up a cocktail.
Gather snacks, garnish the glasses, and ENJOY!
Gin is an incredibly popular and widely available spirit choice no matter where you are in the world.
The strawberry gin cocktail I offer up today is based on a classic gin and soda or gin and tonic. Either club soda or tonic water may be used. I’m going with soda today because it’s what’s chilled.
What I love about gin cocktails is that I can add almost anything to the mix and the beverage ‘becomes’ that flavor. Kind of like a Mojito and mint. In front of you stands a tall cold glass of something spirited and sweet, but with mint. When I sip a Mojito, I am getting mint. It’s one of my favorites, especially now in June and into the hotter summer months here in Charleston.
The ingredients for this drink are flexible. If you’re in the mood to go basic, opt for club soda or tonic. I’ve served this at a Brunch once and went anything but basic by making it a strawberry gin cocktail with Prosecco. Also known as Beefeater Pink Cocktails, the addition of Prosecco gives a lovely and subtle crispness along the lines of hard cider. Entirely refreshing, but known to be slightly sneaky!
Do You Have What’s Needed To Make A Refreshing Strawberry Gin Smash? Check The List!
club soda (or other favorite mixer)
lime juice and lime wedges
fresh basil leaves
How This Cocktail Came About…
There are all sorts of ways recipes make it onto Not Entirely Average. So many are old family favorites I grew up enjoying, some are reader’s requests, and others from flickers of inspiration from my travels… this one, funny enough, is a tale about a date with a boy and a strawberry gin fizz.
My Grandmother broke a long held secret when I was hosting her for lunch at my home one day. She told me a story about the second time she agreed to see my grandfather to step out…you know, a date! We’d been laughing a bit over a date I’d been on that I shared with her. Clearly something I’d mentioned prompted a memory!
Something In That Cocktail…
Gram rolled out a murky story about Grampa and how he took her to a bar on their second date. It was 1942. There was a war going on. And my Grandmother was a nice girl from a nice family. She was mortified and unimpressed at his choice of activity for their afternoon. Yet, she agreed to go. And, as she recalled it, she liked him even less as they pulled up in front of the bar.
Since she’d never really tasted alcohol (she was 17 years old), she agreed to his suggestion of a strawberry gin fizz. Obviously something entirely girly-sounding in my grandfather’s mind. She drank it. And then she “melted” as she tells it. Does not recall finishing the fizz nor getting down from her bar stool! She had to be driven straight home at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
Needless to say, the story sort of halted at that point and any additional questions I had for her on the matter were met with a degree of silence. I will venture to guess that the strawberry fizz worked some sort of magic, as the boy she did not like who took her to a place she found disapproving of, was married to her less than a year later!
Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…
To modify A Refreshing Strawberry Gin Smash to make it not entirely average, try freezing both fresh strawberries and basil leaves (whole) with Champagne or Prosecco in ice cube trays. Swap out several of the plain ice cubes for a few of the fruited cubes and follow through the remainder of the method as specified in the recipe card. As the fruited cubes melt, they not only keep the cocktail bubbly, but also keep it rather lively!
Also, if you want or need to make some substitutions due to personal preference or food allergies, fear not as there are many flavors that seduce gin as soon as they are introduced! So many so, that my list could go on and on. I have linked to some WILDLY POPULAR soda mixers below as a substitute to the club soda. And as for what to muddle in?
Remember, fresh is best. Simply exchange the strawberries and basil for: muddled mint and a knob of ginger, muddled cherries and thyme, or muddled grapefruit and rosemary. Follow with the remainder of the method and ingredients as specified in the recipe card.
What To Serve With A Refreshing Strawberry Gin Smash?
This strawberry gin cocktail is only mildly sweet, so the foods you select may be sweet or savory. For a delicious snack, I enjoy a batch of my Smoked Gouda & Ricotta Fritters or a “flight” of Deviled Eggs.
Some sweeter suggestions would include Creamy Pink Grapefruit Bars or Church Street Cheesecake Squares because again these too, are only mildly sweet. In fact, I think A Refreshing Strawberry Gin Smash might make a very nice, featured cocktail at a party with the savories AND sweets I’ve just mentioned as options on the groaning board!
Can A Refreshing Strawberry Gin Smash Be Served As A Frozen Drink?
Absolutely! Another fun way to serve this would be frozen, similar to a granita. A frozen strawberry gin cocktail could be achieved by creating a slush from pureed strawberries and basil leaves.
Drop them in the freezer with a bit of gin to cover the mix only long enough for it to become slushy. Use the tines of a fork to grate the slush into shavings and add to a glass with additional gin and soda.
Can A Refreshing Strawberry Gin Smash Be Made Ahead?
YES! Parts of A Refreshing Strawberry Gin Smash may be made ahead making assembly very easy for when it comes time to mix and serve. In a blender or food processor, combine the sugar, lime juice, strawberries, and basil. Pulse 5 to 6 times until the mixture is very pulpy.
Refrigerate until ready to use and simply measure out 1/8 cup of the pulp into the bottom of a tall glass. Fill with ice, followed by the gin. Stir and top with a splash of club soda. Really all that’s left is to garnish the glass and dive in!
A Refreshing Strawberry Gin Smash!
- muddler or a wooden spoon
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 wedge lime
- 3 fresh strawberries
- 2 fresh basil leaves
- 3 ounces dry gin
- splash club soda
- In a tall glass, muddle the sugar, a squeeze of lime juice, 2 of the fresh strawberries, and both basil leaves with a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon. Muddle long enough to allow the sugar to dissolve, about 1 minute.
- Fill the glass with ice. Add the gin and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with the remaining strawberry, a lime wedge, and a colorful paper straw.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.