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Tangerine Basil Bourbon Cocktail

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Last Updated on June 5, 2023 by Leah Hall

A great combo of citrus and herb, this Tangerine Juice cocktail hits the spot with tangerine and basil!


We recently made a batch of basil infused simple syrup after having a bunch of leftover basil after a night of Italian cooking. We love using herb infused syrups to layer in flavor and sweetness, and when we can we use the fresh herbs from our garden to make really delicious syrups.

Tangerine drink in glass with orange slice and basil in glass. Sliced orange with knife and jigger next to glass. Gray container and orange flowers in background

Tangerine Drink

By making these syrups, we can keep those fresh flavors of summer all thru the cold months! We had a pair of tangerines that we had planned on using for a cocktail, and with this great herbal basil syrup in hand, we decided to pair the two up with a great rich bourbon to make a very great sipping cocktail.

Tangerine drink in glass with orange slice and basil bunch. Sliced orange and silver knife and jigger next to glass.

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Orange cocktail in glass, this tangerine drink is with orange slice and basil. Orange slice and knife on slate

What Is the Difference Between Tangerines and Clementines?

Tangerines are typically in season from November through May, clementines are usually through April. Clementines are sweet and easy to peel, where tangerines are a bit more tart and have tougher skin, making them a little harder to peel. That being said, tangerines are usually sweeter than an orange.

Orange cocktail, orange slice and basil in glass, orange sliced in half with knife and jigger on slate plate

We used a higher proof whiskey, which helps to temper the sweetness of the citrus and basil syrup. A high proof whiskey or a rye whiskey really pops with the brightness of the juice in this tangerine drink.

We think this cocktail would do really well with a spicy rye whiskey, too.


The bright citrus of the tangerine juice is sweet and tangy, the acid of the helping to pull out warm notes of chocolate and vanilla from the bourbon. The basil syrup adds a herbal freshness that refreshes your palate.

Orange cocktail in glass with orange slice and basil bunch

We recommend garnishing the drink with a peel of tangerine, first expressing the oils from the skin into the glass, then wiping the rim of the glass with the peel. This will perfume the glass and cocktail with tangerine oil.


This makes the Tangerine Basil a full sensory experience. Perfect for sipping on the porch on a warm spring afternoon, we hope you will give this tangerine and basil cocktail a try!

Tangerine drink in glass with basil and sliced orange. Orange sliced, silver knife and jigger next to glass. orange flowers behind



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Tangerine drink in glass with orange slice and basil in glass. Sliced orange with knife and jigger next to glass. Gray container and orange flowers in background
Yield: 1

Tangerine Basil - A Bourbon Cocktail

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes

A citrus juice and bourbon combination that are accompanied by the herbal taste of basil in this tangerine drink!


  • 1 cup packed whole basil leaves
  • 1 cup water

Tangerine Basil Cocktail


For the Cocktail

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake to combine.

Pour into rocks glass over ice.

Garnish with tangerine peel or basil leaves (or both!)



If you want to extend the life of the syrup, add a splash of vodka or Everclear to it, to help preserve it.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 23.4gFiber: 0.4gSugar: 23gProtein: 0.4g

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Saturday 16th of July 2016

I was invited to a dinner party by a foodie. Last time I was there, I forgot a cruet of simple syrup. She made me some basil simple syrup and gave me a cocktail challenge. It's on!!!

Miss Angie (@MySoCalledChaos)

Monday 21st of March 2016

That looks absolutely delicious!


Monday 21st of March 2016

Looks so so good! its getting hot in India and im going to go buy me some tangerine NOW!

Erica@ Everyday Erica

Friday 18th of March 2016

The screams spring and I love it!! Going on my must try list!

Kelly @theinspiredparent

Friday 18th of March 2016

I've never tried tangerine with bourbon before…this sounds delightful!!

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