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Summer entertaining is in full swing, and that means backyard parties, cookouts, and warm weather. What better way to beat the heat than with a cold, fruity beverage? This isn’t your typical strawberry margarita, and that’s a good thing! Instead of being made from frozen concentrate, it’s prepared using fresh strawberries and limes and served on the rocks. Though it may seem like a strange addition, the basil adds a hint of herby flavor that makes this drink really stand out. Can’t or don’t want to use alcohol? No problem! The strawberry syrup would taste wonderful mixed into sparkling water or club soda. Either way, these margaritas are sure to disappear quickly!


Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is


–1 cup granulated sugar

–1 cup water

–1 vanilla bean

–1 teaspoon vanilla extract

–1½ cups sliced strawberries

–Salt and/or sugar, for rimming

–5 ounces strawberry simple syrup

–4 ounces tequila

–2 ounces orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)

–2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

–8 large basil leaves, torn

–Fresh strawberry slices, lime wedges, and basil leaves for garnish (optional)


  1. To make the simple syrup, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape the seeds into the pan, and toss in the pod. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Reduce heat to low, and continue simmering for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and discard the pod. Stir in the vanilla extract, and allow the mixture to cool completely.
  4. Once the mixture is cool, combine 1 cup of syrup with the sliced strawberries and puree using a blender, immersion blender, or food processor. Use a fine mesh strainer to remove the strawberry seeds, if desired.
  5. To make the margaritas, wet the edges of 2 rocks glasses with a lime wedge, and dip in salt, sugar, or a combination of both. Fill the glasses with ice, and set aside.
  6. Combine the strawberry syrup, tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and basil in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. For a more pronounced basil flavor, simply muddle the basil leaves and strawberry syrup together before shaking.
  7. Pour over ice and garnish with fresh strawberry slices, lime wedges and basil leaves, as desired.


What’s your favorite summery drink to cool down with?

Post by Courtney of Cook Like a Champion

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