We love basil around here. Like seriously, LOVE basil.

It seems to pair well with just about everything, adding a sophisticated complexity to whatever it touches. It’s especially great with citrus. This recipe combines the aromatic and oh-so-slightly peppery basil with the bright, clean flavors of orange and a bit of lemon to make a sophisticated twist on the sangria that you’ll want to serve again and again.

So you don’t accidentally do something out of order (like juice the orange before you get the zest or forget to make the simple syrup) I’m listing a few general, overall directions first:

  • Wash your orange and lemon then strip a 3″ piece of “zest” from each
  • Make basil citrus simple syrup (directions below)
  • Juice the orange (skip this step if you are using orange juice)
  • Make finished product (directions below)

The syrup itself will keep refrigerated for several weeks as is. However, I decided to try mixing it with the brandy at a 2:3 ratio, turning it into a cordial! Use 2 parts syrup to 3 parts brandy, which means it’s ready to go for another sangria! If you do this, then you’ll only need to add 5 tablespoons of this in place of the brandy and syrup in the below recipe. (It’s also a delightful after-dinner sipper on its own!) As an added bonus, the addition of the brandy will also keep it fresh longer.