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a coup glass full of strawberry black pepper basil cocktail being lifted up off of a tray

Strawberry Black Pepper Basil Cocktail


Strawberry Black Pepper Basil Cocktail is a perfectly refreshing summertime drink! Strawberry puree, homemade black pepper simple syrup, vodka, and muddled basil leaves create this sippable stunner!




For the Black Pepper Syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

pinch of sea salt

2 Tablespoons whole black peppercorns

1 Tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns

For the Strawberry Puree:

1 cup frozen sliced strawberries, thawed

For Assembling the Cocktail:

2 Tablespoons strawberry puree

4 Tablespoons Black Pepper Syrup

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons vodka

8 large basil leaves

Club soda, for topping


To Make the Black Pepper Syrup:

  • Combine the sugar, water, and sea salt in a medium saucepan.
  • Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, and add the peppercorns, and ground pepper.
  • Stir frequently while simmering for 6-7 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and cool for one hour.
  • Strain the pepper from the syrup and refrigerate. 

    To make the Strawberry Puree:

  • Place the thawed strawberries with their juice into a blender or food processor. Blend until the berries are completely smooth. Alternatively, you can put the berries in a large cup and use an immersion blender to puree them. 

    To Assemble the Cocktail:

  • Muddle the basil leaves in a cocktail shaker
  • Add the strawberry puree, black pepper syrup, lemon juice, and vodka.
  • Place several ice cubes into the shaker.
  • Place the top on the shaker. Shake vigorously for a minute.
  • Divide the cocktail among two coup glasses.
  • Top with club soda and a small basil leaf, if desired.


  • If you’re like me and like your drinks with a hint of heat, feel free to garnish your cocktail with a few grindings of coarse black pepper!
  • I find the flavor of this drink is balanced using frozen strawberries. Sometimes fresh berries are a bit tart. Frozen are consistently sweet!
  • Leftover strawberry puree may be refrigerated for up to four days. There will be enough puree to make a few rounds of this cocktail!
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Chill Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: strawberry black pepper basil cocktail, summer cocktail, strawberries and basil, fruit and herb cocktail, black pepper syrup