Johnny’s Famous Basil Margarita

Publicado por Playa Viva el diciembre 19, 2023

It’s been almost 10 years since Juan Carlos Solís, aka Johnny developed our Signature Organic Basil Margarita.  Johnny has gone on to found his own adventure tour company that manages activities for Playa Viva guests, but this recipe lives on as a testament to his time as a bartender.  By popular demand it is still the Playa Viva house drink.

It’s not too tart or too sweet, but it’s just right.  It’s so just right, that it’s too good, if that’s possible, so be warned, the maker will be in popular demand!

The key is not only “the mix” but, in this case, “the ingredients”; like everything at Playa Viva the sourcing is taken seriously,  not even a cocktail escapes our concept of Food (or drink in this case) as Medicine. Testament to this, we rim our cocktail glasses with Sal Viva, the hotel’s very own brand of salt. Here’s how our partner producer’s the Quintana Family cultivate it:

Originally gifted as tribute to Aztec kings, Sal Viva has been harvested by hand in Juluchuca, Mexico in the same fashion for centuries. Summer rains wash the rich minerals off the Sierra Madre range filling seaside lagoons, eventually bursting past sand barriers, fusing with the salty Pacific Ocean. As heat evaporates the lagoons, peasant farmers hand form calcium drying ponds and rake in Sal Viva.

Playa Viva’s Organic Basil Margarita


  • 5 leaves of organic basil
  • 1.5 shots of lemon juice
  • 2 shots of 4 Copas organic tequila (or other organic tequila)
  • 1 shot of Controy
  • 1 teaspoon of agave nectar (agave honey – “Miel de Agave”)
  • 5 large cubes of ice
  • Thin layer of Sal Viva in a dish (for rimming glass). If it is in season we also recommend adding in dried blitzed hibiscus to make a hibiscus salt

Tools of the trade:

  • Blender
  • Shaker Glass
  • Plate for salt to rim glass
  • Glass

Blending the drink- over ice edition:

  1. Start with the four leaves of organic basil. Place them in a blender, then squeeze in juice from lime, add the tequila and blend (without ice).
  2. Once blended, pour the blended mix into a shaker glass with the ice and add the agave nectar
  3. Margarita should be shaken (not stirred)
  4. Take the remaining lime and rim the mouth of the glass to add moisture so when you dip the glass in a plate with Sal Viva, the salt sticks to the rim
  5. Pour in the shaken mix into a glass for the perfect Playa Viva Organic Basil Margarita.

If you want to make it a frozen margarita, like this, add the ice into the blender at step one, blend all the ingredients together and then skip to step 4.

And there you have it, our perfectly crafted Basil Margarita.

Enjoy Responsibly & tag us on Instagram & Facebook!

To purchase your own Sal Viva, send an email to and include the words “Sal Viva” in the subject line.



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