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This easy basil simple syrup uses fresh basil from the garden to create an herbal sweet syrup. It’s perfect for sweetening tea, lemonade, and cocktails!
Did you plant basil in your garden this year?
Actually, I planted more than I intended to.
This spring, I bought some spicy globe basil plants from a local greenhouse. A few weeks later, my sister-in-law brought me some Thai basil and Genovese basil from another greenhouse.
And finally, when I spotted some massive, gorgeous sweet basil plants at Trader Joe’s, I couldn’t resist them.
If you’ve been following along with my Instagram stories, you’ve probably seen all of my basil plants!
If you, like me, have been harvesting massive amounts of basil, you might be wondering what to do with it all!
To that I say, make simple syrup!
Simple syrup is a great way to preserve the flavor from lots of fresh (and dried) plants. I love making mint simple syrup, lavender simple syrup, ginger simple syrup, citronella simple syrup, and honeysuckle simple syrup.
And, of course, I love this easy basil simple syrup. It has a subtle, herbal flavor and is perfect for sweetening drinks, and is perfect in basil lemonade.
If you’re looking for more basil recipes and preservation ideas, check out this basil vinegar and dairy-free basil pesto.
What Kind of Basil Can I Use for Simple Syrup?
Use any kind of fresh or frozen basil!
Keep in mind that if you use lots of spicy, strongly flavored basil (like spicy globe, purple, or Thai basil) the syrup will end up a little bit spicy.
But maybe that’s a good thing!
For a more mellow syrup, I recommend using mostly sweet or Genovese basil (or another sweet, mild basil).
That said, I love mixing in a little bit of spicier basil for a more interesting flavor.
Can I Use Dried Basil?
In theory, yes, you can.
In reality, you should smell your dried basil before you attempt to use it.
Dried basil has a relatively short shelf-life. It loses its scent and flavor quickly.
So, open up your dried basil and smell it.
Does it smell like basil? Does it smell like… anything?
If it smells like nothing, your syrup will not taste like basil. It will just taste like sugar.
If your dried basil DOES smell awesome, then yes. Go for it.
How to Make Basil Simple Syrup
Start with a big handful of fresh basil (about a cup).
Rinse off the basil and add it to a small pot.
Add a cup of water and a cup of sugar, and then heat until the water comes to a boil.
Take the pot off the heat, and set it aside to cool. Let the basil infuse in the water for about 15 minutes.
Finally, strain out the basil.
Store the syrup in a glass jar or bottle (I like these round glass bottles), and then use it to sweeten your favorite drinks.
Basil Simple Syrup
- 1 cup sugar See Recipe Notes for dried basil
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, rinsed
- 1 cup water
- Add sugar, basil, and water to a small pot. Bring to a boil, and then remove from heat.
- Leave the basil leaves in the syrup as it cools for about 15 minutes. Strain out the leaves, and bottle the syrup.
- Store basil simple syrup in a glass jar (or airtight container) in the fridge. Use within a month.
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