Basil Margarita

If you were living on Virgin Gorda and were my friend, you would often hear me complain about living here. And I have to mention; I am not a complainer. But living on a small island is hard. For one thing, you have limited resources. When you need something, you have to go to several places, and even after that there is a big chance that you may not find what you need.

Basil Margarita Recipe: A refreshing margarita recipe made with fresh basil.

Second, the culture is different here. Not in a bad way, but different. There is no sense of urgency and/or consistency. This is all fine when you are vacationing here, but when you are trying to get something done or have a deadline to meet, that is when it gets really frustrating. The mentality is, β€œIt is what it is. There is nothing I can do”. And the worst part of it all is everyone (both expats and locals) complains about the same thing, but nothing changes.

After all, you are left with one option, and that is to get used to it. Accept it. Because it is what it is.

Basil Margarita I

Basil Margarita Recipe: A refreshing margarita recipe made with fresh basil.

Basil Margarita Recipe: A refreshing margarita recipe made with fresh basil.

Well… As you can see I am having a hard time getting used to it. So when I feel like this, I go to the beach and order a drink. This Basil Margarita, to be exact. It is one of those things that help me look at the challenges of island living from the bright side. It also makes me realize (and appreciate) that I can walk to this beach in less than 10 minutes and swim in this ocean whenever I want, every- single-day-of-the-year.

Basil Margarita I

Basil Margarita Recipe: A refreshing margarita recipe made with fresh basil.

Basil Margarita Recipe: A refreshing margarita recipe made with fresh basil.

Last May, when my best friend Ceren was here, we talked about this and more. As a resident of Chicago (after a long winter), she was happy to be here. But still, she was able to relate. She loved this basil margarita as much as I did and thought that this recipe should be on the blog. As you can see from the photos, we spent the rest of that day walking on the beach, drinking basil margaritas, and taking pictures.

Basil Margarita I


Basil Margarita

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A refreshing margarita recipe made with fresh basil.

  • Author: Aysegul Sanford
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 10 min
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: Drink
  • Cuisine: American


  • 2 1/2 oz. white tequila
  • 2 oz. triple sec (I used Cointreau)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 10-14 leaves of fresh basil, plus more as garnish
  • 1 cup ice
  • sliced lemon, for garnish
  • Kosher salt, for the rim of the glass (optional)


  1. Place tequila, triple sec, lemon juice, basil, and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. If you prefer, rub the rim of two margarita glasses with lemon and dip in salt.
  3. Carefully pour the drink in glasses and garnish each drink with a slice of lemon and fresh basil leaves.


This margarita is between a frozen and regular margarita. If you prefer it to be frozen simply add more ice.

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  • Beeta @ Mon Petit Four - Aysegul, you are beautiful! The margarita is almost as pretty as you! πŸ˜‰ And don’t get me started on the location…wow! Stunning beach. Since I love basil, I’d probably be a big fan of this margarita too. I can’t wait to give the recipe a try. Even though you’ve described some of the hardships of where you live, you still make island living look like a total dream <3ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - Beeta,
      Thank you so much for your kind comments. The person you see in the photos are my best friend Ceren. I was the person behind the camera. And I totally agree with you, she is gorgeous. Inside & Out.
      Yes, this drink is truly delicious. I hope you’ll get a chance to make it soon.

  • Monica - Ceren and you are like sisters, no? I feel your pain of island life having had that similar experience. That drink looks fabulously refreshing! I hope to try it soon.ReplyCancel

  • Nesh - Ahh don’t get me started on the hardships of island living but on the bright side, there is always something to take your mind off the negative. Ceren is such a beauty and you are so talented, your gorgeous photos makes me want a basil margarita right now! Maybe a margarita date soon? πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - Thank you my friend. Thank GOD for great friends, who I get to share this beauty and the frustrations. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Adriana - As always, beautiful images and recipe. I can imagine it would be difficult at times to live in such a small place, gorgeous indeed and many pluses (I will think of you swimming in the blue warm ocean when I’m freezing in a couple months) however still small and you’re a woman of the world. I’ve found Expat life to be quite an experience, one that makes us ask questions of ourselves and the new world around us that no longer tells us who we are, It’s both liberating and incredibly isolating at the same time even among many people. In my home country of Costa Rica it is the same, we have an expression “Pura Vida” which means pure life, it’s wonderful…we embrace life like few others but it also comes with a ” life is life, everything will eventually get done” someday! X from

    • Aysegul Sanford - Thank you Adriana…
      Yes, it is really amazing to not have to worry about cold. But then sometimes you miss it. Since I didn’t grow up here, it is weird to not have winters. Still, we are all making the best out of it, no?
      BTW, Costa Rica is one of the top places on our destinations-to-see list. I guess, I know who to ask for suggestions…:))

  • Malia @ Small Town Girl - I appreciate your frustrations. Living in a small town often feels like an island. Our resources in town are very limited and I usually don’t want to leave my island and drive 30 minutes or more to get what I need… like fresh basil, lol. But for this drink, I think I’ll make an exception. Looks and sounds delish!ReplyCancel

    • Aysegul Sanford - Ha ha… We have some bad days and then some really good days. I guess that is how life is, no?
      Thank you for stopping by Malia!ReplyCancel

Hi There!

I am so glad you stopped by and I hope you are enjoying my adventures in cooking, photography, and life. 
I am Aysegul: the photographer, writer, designer, recipe creator, and dishwasher behind this blog. This website is a journal of my favorite seasonal and healthy recipes. Click around and let me know if I can help in any way. 
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