Based on a classic mint julep, this recipe for basil julep is very refreshing and perfect for sipping as the sun goes down. Fresh basil leaves and Whiskey served chilled over ice is the perfect warm weather cooling drink.

A basil julep from the side

The traditional drink of the Derby is the mint julep, but this is my twist on this classic and is just as delicious. The pepper and spices of the rye are offset with the freshness and aroma of the basil to make a perfectly civilized sipping drink.

Basil julep from above showing 2 basil leaves skewered

Basil Julep Recipe – Step by Step

What are the ingredients in a Basil Julep?

Similar to the mint julep, but for this recipe I used Rye and switched the mint for basil.

The first step is to dissolve the sugar into the water to make a simple syrup. This is done in a saucepan over medium heat and allowed to cool. Once cooled, fresh basil leaves are muddled in the simple syrup to extract the basil flavor.

Basil julep

Which whiskey is best for julep?

Traditionally, for the mint julep, Bourbon whiskey is used. I like this drink with both rye and bourbon so the choice is yours.

Yield: 2

Basil Julep

A glass of basil julep on a board

Fresh basil leaves, Whiskey and simple syrup served chilled over ice is the perfect warm weather cooling drink.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 2 ounces (60 ml) whiskey of your choice
  • Crushed ice
  • Basil leaves for garnish


  1. Make the simple syrup: To a small saucepan add the water and sugar over medium heat. Heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring often. Remove and allow to cool. Omit this step if using store bought.
  2. To a rocks glass/tumbler add the basil leaves, whiskey and 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) simple syrup. Use a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon to mash the basil into the liquid.
  3. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add a splash of water. Garnish with basil leaves.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 293Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 345mgCarbohydrates 52gFiber 3gSugar 27gProtein 5g

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