Pre-prohibition cocktails and modern twists on classics

Basil Cranberry Julep



2oz Mezcal
1oz Cranberry Syrup
.25oz Agave Nectar
6 Basil Leaves
Basil Sprig


Add basil leaves and agave nectar to the bottom of a julep cup then muddle gently. Add mezcal and cranberry syrup, add the straw, then top with crushed ice. Drizzle a little cranberry syrup on top, garnish with a basil sprig, then serve.

To make Cranberry Syrup:

Add 100 % pure unsweetened cranberry juice to medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow the juice to reduce by half. Remove from the heat and then add sugar. Stir to dissolve.


The nose is all fresh basil with a hint of smoke and cranberry sweetness. Tart fruity cranberry and subtle smoke with a touch of agave nectar. This is a great entry cocktail for mezcal beginners, and just the thing to refresh you on the first warm day of summer.



I love juleps. I love mezcal. Derby always falls close to Cinco de Mayo. You see where I’m going with this…. the two just had to meet. This one is like setting your two best friends up on a date and having it actually work out. Score! (no pun intended). The mezcal makes a great base for this cool refreshing, smoke laced beverage. The combo of agave nectar and cranberry syrup sweetens things up, while the basil makes it taste just a little bit different than the familiar mint your might have been expecting.

Perfect for that time between Derby day and Cinco de Mayo, when you’re not quite ready to give up on juleps, but starting to think about agave based spirits. Plus, I guarantee you’ll love this one all the way through summer.


2 Responses to “Basil Cranberry Julep”

  1. Mr. Melange

    Sounds like an amazing combo, but you didn’t specify how much sugar you use in the cranberry syrup – safe to assume the standard 1:1 ratio?

    Thanks for all the great recipes!

    • The Straight Up

      Oops! I reduce 2 cups of cranberry syrup to 1 then add in 1 cup sugar. So yes 1:1 after you’ve reduced the cranberry juice. Will fix this. Thanks!


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