Basil Grapefruit cocktail recipe

Today we're sharing part two of our collaboration series with food stylist, Mary Valentin

Grapefruit Basil Smash, also called a “Xanadu”
 I like to make a fancy house cocktail for parties.  If you make a whole pitcher ahead of time, it saves you from hand mixing 10 cocktails.  We made this recipe with basil from the garden and a local gin.

  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 16 oz gin (we used FEW gin, out of Evanston, IL)
  • 16 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (we bought ours at whole foods)
  • 10 oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, brought to a boil and cooled)
  • soda water (we used lemon La Croix)

1.) Muddle basil leaves in the bottom of a large glass pitcher
2.) Add gin, grapefruit juice and simple syrup along with a couple of ice cubes.  Stir and let it chill in the fridge until guests arrive.

To Serve:
Give the pitcher a stir.  Place ice cubes in a tumbler or rocks glass.  Pour 4 oz over ice and top with a splash soda water. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf.


  • I am a fan of texture in a cocktail but not all of our guests loved the little bits of fresh basil in their teeth.  You can strain the chopped basil out before serving.
  • Fill your ice tray with hot water in advance to serve your cocktails with clear ice.

Recipe by Mary Valentin.
Photography and styling by Heather Day for Taupe & Birch.