Refreshing White Grapefruit Margarita

This white grapefruit margarita is made with basil simple syrup for a light and refreshing cocktail that’s not too sweet. I was inspired to make a drink that would be a good option when you’re trying to watch the calories! I wanted a cocktail that I could indulge in without adding on too much extra sugar so I looked to the notoriously tart grapefruit, for a solution. This would be a great addition to summer entertaining or for a Mexican fiesta happy hour for cinco de mayo. The basic simple syrup gives this drink something special!

grapefruit margarita

Make this refreshing margarita for entertaining at home or cinco de mayo parties

As I sipped a basic tequila and grapefruit cocktail I thought it could benefit from a little more pizzazz and depth of flavor so I created the recipe below. Basil is an amazing herb to use in cocktails so I made a simple syrup with it. It helps to take the edge off the tart taste of the grapefruit.

The flavor is subtle but delicious, and a few dashes of orange bitters brightens it up even more. That little hint of sweetness makes this cocktail more ‘party friendly.’ However this is most certainly not a sweet drink.

white grapefruit cocktail with basil garnish cocktail with basil garnish

If you’re a fan of the classic Greyhound {vodka + grapefruit juice} then I think you’ll like this cocktail. Also check out my amazing sparkling peach margarita or classic beer margarita.

What’s nice about this drink is that you can add a little more or less of the simple syrup to the mix to suit your taste. That’s what I love about mixology – there are no hard and fast rules, just balance the flavors to suit your palate!

white grapefruit margarita cocktail recipe

White Grapefruit Margarita

Yield: 1 cocktail

Serve up this white grapefruit margarita with basil simple syrup for a tasty twist on the classic cocktail. It's refreshing and not too sweet. It's perfect for summer entertaining or cinco de mayo parties.


  • 1 1/2 oz clear tequila
  • 2-3 teaspoons basil simple syrup
  • 3 oz white grapefruit juice
  • 2-3 dashes orange bitters

Basil Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn


For the Simple Syrup:

  1. Add all 3 ingredients to a small pot and heat over medium heat. Bring to a low boil until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature – about 30 minutes.
  3. Pour syrup through a strainer to remove basil leaves, and store in a small bottle in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For Cocktail:

  1. In a glass, add ice and all ingredients.
  2. Stir and garnish with fresh basil or a grapefruit slice.


Rim the glass with sugar for a bit of sweetness with each sip.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

margarita recipe with basil simple syrup

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts


    1. Kelly, I used to eat them for breakfast as a kid but they were too sour for my young palette. Now that I’m all grown up it’s the perfect cocktail mixer! 😉

  1. These may become my new favorite margarita! LOVE the grapefruit and basil combination—so refreshing for summer!

    1. Liz, I can’t drink overly sweet drinks so this is a great one if you’re the same way. Hope you like it!

    1. I love basil but can never seem to grown it (or anything else for that matter). This is a great way to use it though! 😉

Comments are closed.