Thai Basil Simple Syrup

Jar of thai basil simple syrup with basil leaves

Thai Basil Simple Syrup will Spice up your Cocktails

This Thai Basil Simple Syrup recipe combines a classic sugar syrup with flavorful Thai Basil for a fun twist on any cocktail you use it in. When you typically think of basil, it’s probably Italian sweet basil that comes to mind. Sweet basil is, well, sweet, and fantastic when added to tomato sauces or pestos. In opposition, Thai basil’s flavor is stronger and more bold, with hints of licorice and spice. This makes it particularly fun for a simple syrup, as the strong flavor, though muted by the sugar, still comes through for a unique flavor.

Simple syrup is a very common product to see in any home or professional bar. The standard simple syrup is a 1:1 mix of sugar and water, cooked until the sugar dissolves to make a syrup. This is used to sweeten cocktails while maintaining their fluid consistency. By adding Thai basil to the syrup, not only is the drink sweetened, but it also gets a fun, slightly spicy note to it.

Cooking Tip: Be careful with the heat when bringing the simple syrup to a boil and make sure you stir the sugar in well. Keep the heat on medium-low to avoid burning any sugar. And the longer it takes to come to a boil, the more flavor that you’ll get out of the Thai basil.

jar of simple syrup on a cutting board with hawthorne strainer

Working with Thai Basil

Making this simple syrup requires having Thai basil on hand. I’ve started growing this in my garden yearly, and recently have been growing a plant inside. Aside from simple syrup, it’s incredibly tasty when added to stir fry, fried rice, or soups. If you have space in your garden, I strongly recommend planting some.

To make this simple syrup, you’ll need to harvest 2 cups of Thai basil leaves. To harvest Thai basil, always start at the bottom and work your way up. The bottom leaves are older, so should always be taken first. Also take care not to remove the top leaves of any single stalk of basil. This will keep the stalks alive and growing, so that you’ll continue having basil to use.

In this recipe, I call for 2 loosely packed cups of Thai basil. That’s all you need to make a fun simple syrup, but the more you add the stronger the flavor will be. So if your Thai basil plant is particularly big or if it’s the end of the season, add up to 3 cups for a more intensely flavored simple syrup.

two loosely packed cups of thai basil

How to use Thai Basil Simple Syrup

Most cocktail recipes won’t use more than an ounce of simple syrup at a time. So while two cups of simple syrup may not sound like much, it ends up lasting a long time. Here are a few recommendations to put this simple syrup to good use.

Try my Thai Basil Smash: Combine bourbon, Thai basil simple syrup, and lime for a fun smash cocktail.

Add it to your highballs: A highball combines whiskey and club soda, and adding a splash of thai basil simple syrup will give it an even more fun flavor.

Try it in your infused water: For a non-alcoholic beverage, swirl this simple syrup into your lemon or lime infused water for a refreshing beverage.

jar of thai basil simple syrup in front of bar implements
Jar of thai basil simple syrup with basil leaves

Thai Basil Simple Syrup

This Thai Basil Simple Syrup recipe combines a classic sugar syrup with flavorful Thai Basil for a fun twist on any cocktail you use it in.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 32 tbsp
Calories 23 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Thai basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 cups Granulated sugar

Instructions
 

  • Rinse leaves thoroughly and rip to release their oils.
  • Combine the ripped leaves, water, and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat.
  • Bring the mixture to a low boil, maintaining a medium-low heat to avoid burning the sugar. This will take 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally to help the sugar dissolve.
  • Once the mixture has reached a low boil turn off the heat and let cool in the saucepan for 30 minutes.
  • Place a mesh strainer over the jar you’ll use to store the Thai Basil Simple Syrup and pour the syrup over it to strain out the basil leaves. Let cool completely and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbspCalories: 23kcalCarbohydrates: 6.3gSugar: 6.3g
Keyword Simple Syrup, Thai Basil, Thai Basil Simple Syrup
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