A classic Mojito is made with mint, but since mint and basil are in the same family, I thought I would play around. I love the idea of using herbs that would normally be used in savoury applications and include them with sweet dishes or drinks. It adds an element of surprise.

I did a beverage shoot last week and my client brought me these beautiful limes from her tree, so I simply had to shoot them and make a drink.

Brandon Matzek of the blog Kitchen Konfidence is very experimental with drinks, and I find his flavour combo’s so interesting. A long time ago I was inspired by a basil and strawberry cocktail he made which turned into me making a strawberry & balsamic sorbet with a basil & black pepper infusion. Check out his cucumber, lime and basil martini, and you will see what I mean.

basil mojito basil mojito

You can use sugar straight up in a Mojito, but I always prefer to use a sugar syrup. You make this by boiling together water and sugar to a ratio of 2:1 until you get a thick consistency. Once the sugar has dissolved completely, boil for about 3 minutes and then allow to cool. This can be stored in a jar for ages or years. Maybe forever.

I’ve added rum (obviously), but this is also rather tasty in a ‘virginal’ format.

Recipe | makes 1 large Mojito

  • 2T sugar syrup or 1 T sugar
  • 1 lime (half juiced, and half cut into wedges
  • a shot of white rum (as much as you like but 25ml is good)
  • 6 – 10 basil leaves
  • soda water
  • extra slices of lime to garnish

Place the sugar / sugar syrup, rum, lime juice, basil leaves and wedges in a tall sturdy glass and bash with a muddler to release the flavour. Fill the glass with a lot of ice, and top up with soda water. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and slices of lime.

basil mojito

A few other drinks that could rock your summer (if you are living in the Northern hemisphere that is):

The Paloma:

How to make the perfect Paloma

Passion fruit cordial:

passion fruit cordial

A delectable cocktail with strawberries and coconut water:

coconut water and strawberries cocktail

Home-made iced tea with ginger and mint:

iced tea

 Pomegranate spritzer:

pomegranate and ginger spritzer


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I can also be found enthusiastically pinning beautiful food Pinterest.  




  1. Michael Olivier

    Oh Sam what a fabulous collection of pics. You are so so talented. Luv Mxx

  2. Thanks for the shout out Sam! That recipe takes me back! 2010 – almost 3 years ago.

    This Basil Mojito looks super tasty and refreshing. I’m definitely giving this a try.

  3. Sam

    Hi Brandon, I just love all your drinks ideas x

  4. Sam

    I’m so with you on that one Lisa #cheers 🙂

  5. Sam

    Thanks Suzanne, I hope all well with you in NZ 🙂

  6. wow.. your blog & photography are stunning.. I came via Pinterest where I pinned your leek, mushroom & parmesan phyllo pastries.. I’m looking forward to exploring your blog further!

  7. Sam

    Thanks Lesley, and I hope to see you around here more often 🙂

  8. I’m curious, wouldn’t you want to bash the basil leaves along with the lime to release the flavor, rather than just garnish with basil? Maybe you’d have to strain it then…? Sounds delicious. I love basil.

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