Happy Hour : Grapefruit Basil Smash

Today we’re sharing part two of our collaboration series with food stylist, Mary Valentinhappyhour_mbv1

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 try with hot water in advance to serve your cocktails with clear ice.

Happy Hour with Mary Valentin

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

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