Thai Basil and Orange Refresher

Thai basil cocktail with a splash of orange

Visits with my sister Shannon always lead to fun cocktail ideas. One of our favorite places to go together is the Warrenton, Texas, antique show, held in the fall and spring in combination with the famous Round Top antique show. We stay up late the night before, creating interesting cocktails and plotting out our route.

In Houston, where Shannon lives, you can find almost any ethnic ingredient you could possibly want. This Thai Basil Cocktail is made with Thai Mekhong rum and a splash of fresh orange juice. We easily found Mekhong rum at a liquor store in Houston, but it’s not available everywhere. If you can’t find it or don’t want to buy a special liquor for this cocktail, just substitute white rum.

What is Mekhong rum

Mekhong rum is sometimes called Mekhong whiskey. It’s made from 95 percent sugar cane and 5 percent rice and is not aged. Most of its flavor comes from a secret blend of indigenous herbs and spices. It’s relatively high in alcohol content (35 percent), and is used in many Thai cocktails. Although you can absolutely substitute white rum, I thought this Mekhong spirit gave our drinks a fresh, herby taste.

You don’t need a fancy cocktail shaker or muddler to make a great cocktail. A mason jar and spoon are just as good.

Ingredients you’ll need for this cocktail

  • Basil leaves – you can use regular or Thai basil
  • Oranges – for juice, for muddling and for garnish
  • Limes – for juice, muddling and garnish
  • Agave syrup
  • Club soda
  • Mekhong rum or white rum


Recipe by Nana JanaDifficulty: Easy

This drink calls for Thai Mekhong Rum. I was able to find it in Houston when visiting my sister. If you can’t find it, you can substitute white rum.   


  • 4 basil leaves

  • 1/2 of orange, cut into pieces, rind still on

  • 1 1/2 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1/2 ounce agave syrup

  • 1 ounce club soda

  • 2 ounces Mekhong Rum

  • Extra basil leaves, orange slices and lime slices for garnish


  • In a cocktail shaker, muddle basil leaves and orange pieces until you have a pungent basil and orange mush.
  • Add orange juice, lime juice, agave syrup and rum. Shake well.
  • Strain into ice filled glasses.
  • Top with club soda and garnish with limes, oranges and basil.

Want a mocktail?

Leave out the rum and this becomes a fabulously refreshing mocktail.

Cheers to sisters!
Cheers to sisters!

Looking for more refreshing summer cocktails? Try one of these:

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