Basil Simple Syrup Recipe

by Dorothy Reinhold on June 22, 2010

Print This Post Print This Post Strawberries with Basil Simple Syrup on Shockingly Delicious

Basil might seem most suited to main course dishes, but in the Shockinglydelicious kitchen, we found that widening the focus showed basil in a new light. We began using it to add a sophisticated twist to a handful of different dishes, from dessert to drinks.

This one herb, probably growing abundantly in your garden right now, makes for an easy, elegant variation on a simple bowl of fresh fruit, a glass of lemonade or iced tea, or even a dessert.

Make some Basil Simple Syrup and set your imagination free!

Basil growing in the garden

Don’t worry about a few holes in the leaves — organic gardening!

Basil Simple Syrup

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh basil leaves

Put sugar and water in a small saucepan, stir and heat until it boils; sugar will dissolve and the syrup will be clear. Add basil leaves, stir to submerge all leaves, and turn heat off. Allow leaves to steep until liquid cools, 30-45 minutes or so. Strain leaves out using a mesh strainer; discard leaves. Syrup will be tinged with pale green. Store syrup in a labeled jar in the refrigerator.

Makes about 3/4 cup syrup — enough to play with in several different ways!

Basil leaves in sugar syrup

Basil leaves steep in sugar syrup

Basil Simple Syrup


Strawberries with Basil Simple Syrup

Slice berries into a large bowl, spoon some simple syrup over berries, stir gently and allow to sit for 10 or so minutes. Stir again and serve berries and syrup in individual bowls, garnishing fruit with a few thinly sliced basil leaves for pretty.

Other Fresh Fruits with Basil Simple Syrup

As with strawberries, you may use this syrup to sweeten and flavor sliced mangos, nectarines or peaches, chunked watermelon, or berries, if you like.

Basil Lemonade

Basil Lemonade

Basil Lemonade = refreshing!

For one glass of lemonade, stir together 8 ounces ice water (or club soda or mineral water, for a fizzy version), 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons Basil Simple Syrup. Taste and adjust tart/sweet to your liking, adding either a bit more lemon or syrup, depending on if you like your lemonade more tart or sweet. Serve over ice in a tall glass, with a sprig of basil sticking out, if you have one! Life is good!

Sweet Tea with Basil Simple Syrup

For each glass of plain iced tea, add 1-3 tablespoons of Basil Simple Syrup (depending on how sweet you like your tea). Adjust sweetener to your liking.

Other uses for Basil Simple Syrup

–Drizzled over lemon poundcake
–Drizzled over cottage cheese, for breakfast. (Try it before you make fun of it!)
–Use it to sweeten a smoothie
–Use it to sweeten a cocktail

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy May 13, 2023 at 7:34 pm

During my catering years I always added basil syrup to fresh lemonade. It was always a hit.


Dorothy Reinhold May 18, 2023 at 3:06 pm



Debi August 10, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I’ve been experimenting with syrups. Thyme, rosemary, citrus, fruits… they all work. Funny thing, I haven’t used basil yet (even though I have tons of it growing in the backyard). Thanks for the post and the great pics!


sippitysup June 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Can I do this with Rosemary? I think I can. I think I will. GREG


Dorothy June 23, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I think you can! Great minds think alike, because I am planning the same. Let me know how much/how long the steep is, for you.


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