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With the sweetness of fresh basil and ripe nectarines, and the bite of classic Bourbon whiskey, this well-balanced cocktail is the perfect nightcap or daytime outdoor sipper.


When life hands me an abundance of fresh herbs or fruit and I want to make sure they don’t go to waste, I love to make a quick and easy simple syrup for cocktails with them. Not only is it delicious, it’s super easy, helps to eliminate waste, and keeps in the fridge for up to a month (if it lasts that long).

So when the season started to change but my basil plant was still churning out leaves and I had a house full of free nectarines from a neighbor, I decided to combine the two and make a sweet and floral simple syrup for a much deserved Saturday night cocktail.

Nectarine, Basil and Bourbon Spritz

Simple syrup- the star of this Nectarine, Basil and Bourbon Spritz

They don’t call it “simple syrup for no reason- it’s literally equal parts sugar and water, and then the possibilities are endless. You could do a cup of blackberries and some fresh thyme, or strawberries and mint, or go crazy and do some pineapple, jalapeño and cilantro. Just think of complimentary flavors and you can basically make a simple syrup out of any fruit/herb combo you have on hand. Add the fresh ingredients to some sugar and water, and in 30 minutes you have a delightful syrup to amp up your cocktails in a pinch.

Not a fan of whiskey? Here are some other liquors that would work great for this Nectarine, Basil and Bourbon Spritz:

  • Plain or citrus flavored vodka
  • Silver Tequila
  • Bacardi Limon

For more cocktail recipes, visit my cocktails page!

Nectarine and Basil Bourbon Spritz

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: cocktail
Keyword: basil, bourbon, cocktail, nectarine, whiskey
Servings: 2


  • 4 1/2 oz Bourbon whiskey*
  • 3 oz Nectarine & Basil simple syrup
  • the juice of 2 lemons, plus more slices for garnish
  • 5-10 basil leaves
  • seltzer or club soda, to finish

Nectarine Basil Simple Syrup Ingredients

  • 1 cup basil, stems and all
  • 2 nectarines, sliced (pit removed), plus more slices for garnish, if desired*
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  • Make simple syrup: Add sugar, water, 1 cup basil and nectarines to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
    2. Reduce heat to low and simmer, 30 minutes, until slightly thickened.
    3. Allow to cool (about 30 minutes), and strain into a an airtight jar or container. Discard fruit and basil.
    4. Assemble cocktail: Add basil leaves to a large cocktail shaker and muddle or lightly press into the sides of the shaker to release aroma. Fill shaker with ice, about halfway. Add 4 ½ oz (3 shots) Bourbon Whiskey, 3 oz (2 shots) simple syrup and the juice of 2 lemons. Cover and shake, then strain into 2 cocktail glasses filled with ice. Top with seltzer or club soda and garnish with lemon slices and nectarine slices.

Peaches could be substituted for nectarines

Vodka, Bacardi Limon or silver tequila could be subbed for bourbon

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