These raspberry basil bourbon spritzers are perfect for Valentine’s Day or summertime cocktails with friends! Make a quick homemade basil raspberry simple syrup, add your favorite bourbon and plenty of lime juice, and top with something bubbly! (Recipe for 21+. Please drink responsibly)
This easy, refreshing raspberry bourbon cocktail is perfect for summer!
A homemade basil and raspberry syrup gives this drink a bright flavor and gorgeous color. Balance the sweetness of the berries with a bit of bourbon or whiskey, add a splash of lime juice, and top with Prosecco or sparkling water for the ultimate summer spritzer.
All you need for these raspberry cocktails:
- Homemade Raspberry Syrup – We’ll make a quick simple syrup with raspberries (fresh or frozen are both fine), sugar, fresh basil, and a bit of water. (Save any extra syrup for raspberry margaritas or an easy whiskey lemonade!)
- Bourbon – We love a rich, spicy bourbon here, but you can use any bourbon or whiskey you like!
- Lime Juice – squeeze it fresh if you can!
- Something bubbly – like a Prosecco, champagne, club soda, or sparkling water – to top things off.
How to make the raspberry basil syrup
This raspberry simple syrup is easy to make and comes together in less than fifteen minutes!
- Add raspberries, sugar, basil, and water to a small saucepan and stir everything together.
- Bring the mixture to a low simmer and cook until raspberries have softened and sugar has dissolved.
- Let cool, then strain the simple syrup to remove the berries and basil leaves. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or use it in a cocktail right away!
Pro tip: Freeze leftover berries for smoothies!
Spread the berries into a thin layer on a nonstick baking mat (or a piece of waxed paper), pop them in the freezer for an hour or two, then transfer to an airtight container or Stasher Bag and return to the freezer.
Riffs and substitutions
Our favorite thing about this raspberry spritzer recipe: It’s ultra-adaptable. You can tweak just about any part of it, from the spirit to the sweetness to the fruit.
- Swap the raspberries for strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, or peaches! (You can also combine a few types of berries for this syrup, à la our Triple Berry Margaritas.)
- Adjust the sweetness. This raspberry basil cocktail isn’t especially sweet, and it’s easy to customize the taste here! Add an extra splash of simple syrup for more sweetness, or add more lime juice if you’d like a tarter flavor.
- Swap the bourbon for vodka, gin, rum, or your favorite nonalcoholic liquor (we love this zero alcohol “gin” from Drink Monday).
- Use lemon juice instead of lime juice to mix up the flavor.
- Substitute fresh thyme for the basil here, or leave the herbs out altogether for a more fruit-forward drink!
- Muddle extra basil leaves in the bottom of the cocktail shaker before you mix these drinks for more of a basil smash vibe.
A few spritzer FAQs
The simple syrup is easy to make ahead of time! Make the syrup as directed, let cool completely, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week (or in the freezer for several months). When you’re ready for a cocktail, just shake everything together!
You’ll have a bit of extra syrup with this cocktail recipe; store it in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 6 months. Use any leftovers in place of triple sec or other sweeteners in your favorite cocktails or mocktails! Margaritas, vodka tonics, and mojitos are all great cocktails with raspberry syrup.
Yes – this raspberry basil syrup makes a great mocktail! Use a nonalcoholic spirit (we love this gin substitute) in place of the bourbon, or omit this ingredient entirely. Top drinks with sparkling water or club soda instead of Prosecco.
These easy raspberry basil bourbon spritzers are perfect for summer!
For the raspberry basil simple syrup:
- 8 ounces fresh raspberries (about 1 cup), plus extra for garnish
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
For the cocktails:
- 4 ounces (½ cup) raspberry basil simple syrup
- 4 ounces (½ cup) bourbon
- 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 4 ounces (½ cup) Prosecco (you can also use champagne or club soda)
- Plenty of ice
- Extra basil leaves and fresh raspberries, for garnish (optional)
For the raspberry syrup:
- Stir raspberries, basil, sugar and water together in a small saucepan. Turn heat to medium and bring to a low simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for 8-10 minutes until sugar has dissolved and raspberries are soft.
- Turn off the heat and let syrup cool for 20-30 minutes, then strain through a mesh colander to remove the berries and basil leaves (pro tip: freeze the leftover raspberry pieces for smoothies!)
- Let syrup cool completely, then use in a cocktail recipe or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
For the cocktails:
- Combine raspberry simple syrup, bourbon, lime juice, and a few handfuls of ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake to chill, then strain and divide evenly between two cocktail glasses.
- Top each cocktail with prosecco (be sure to pour slowly so the drink doesn’t bubble over). Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and a fresh raspberry (optional). Serve immediately.
Swaps and substitutions. Use strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or peaches in place of the raspberries here. Use thyme instead of basil, or omit the herbs altogether for a more fruit-forward drink. For a sweeter drink, add an extra splash of simple syrup. Use vodka, rum, gin, or your favorite nonalcoholic spirit in place of the bourbon.
Can I make these cocktails ahead of time? Yes – make the simple syrup ahead of time, let it cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week (or in the freezer for several months). We don’t recommend mixing the entire cocktail ahead of time – just make the simple syrup a few days in advance and shake everything together when you’re ready for a drink!
Which bourbon should I use? We typically use Elijah Craig as our mixing bourbon, but use whatever you like to drink! Maker’s Mark, Four Roses Single Barrel, and Woodford Reserve are all good here too.
Keywords: drinks, cocktail, valentine’s day