Lemon Basil Cocktail

Seeing as we’ve arrived at the “heat-advisory” point of the summer, there’s no better time to share a summer-fresh cocktail with two summery things: fresh lemon juice and fresh basil. This lemon basil cocktail is a cold libation similar to a lemon martini but with the added twist of herbaceous green freshness.

It’s the best sipping drink when you don’t have much to do after the sipping. It packs a double-shot vodka punch, but you can easily adjust the amount for your ideal level of booziness. Enjoy this lemon basil cocktail on the porch, deck, patio, or inside with the AC on full blast – it’s perfect for summer.

a glass of lemon basil cocktail.


  • Fresh basil leaves – If you’re not into basil, I think fresh mint would be wonderful, too. You won’t need as much, so just add to your taste.
  • Simple syrup – You can buy simple syrup, but it’s so easy to make. Heat equal parts water and granulated sugar on the stove until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool and you’re good to go.
  • Ice cubes
  • Vodka
  • Fresh lemon juice
ingredients for the cocktail.

Recipe Steps

Muddle the basil and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.

Add the ice, vodka, and lemon juice. Secure the lid and shake the container for a few seconds or until it’s cold.

collage photo showing how to make the drink.

Strain the lemon basil cocktail into a glass. Garnish it up with lemon slices and fresh basil leaves if you’re feeling fancy.

Drink Tips

Scale it up: This recipe makes one cocktail, but you can double it if you want to share.

Don’t have a cocktail shaker? Use a mason jar with a lid instead. It will work fine, and you’ll get bonus points for making a rustic country cocktail.

Adjust to your taste: Feel free to adjust the ingredient amounts to make it your own. I support your happiness, so change the amount of vodka, sugar, and lemon basil if you think it needs adjusting.

overhead shot of the garnished drink.

I hope you give this summer drink a try soon!

Happy sipping,

overhead photo of the drink.

More Summer Cocktails

📣 Do you love this recipe? I would love to know! Leave a comment below the recipe along with your recipe star rating.


Lemon Basil Cocktail

a glass of lemon basil cocktail.

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5 from 1 review

This summer-fresh vodka cocktail combines tart lemon, fresh basil, and a touch of sweetness. This recipe makes one perfect drink for you or you can scale it up to share. 

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American


  • 4 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup (see note)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Place the basil and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Muddle them with a muddler or wooden spoon handle.
  2. Add the ice, vodka, and lemon juice. Secure the shaker lid and shake the container for about 5 seconds or so. Strain the drink into a glass and garnish with lemon slices and basil leaves.


Simple syrup: You can buy simple syrup or you can make it. Combine 1/2 cup of granulated sugar with 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat while stirring. Once the sugar has dissolved, take the syrup off the heat to cool. You can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.


  • Serving Size: 1 drink
  • Calories: 229
  • Sugar: 7.8g
  • Sodium: 1.2mg
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.2g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.

Post, photos, and recipe updated from the archives. First published in July 2015.


  1. Kaila..yet another fab post! How did you know I was craving this?? You mind reader you!! 😉
    PS: Go check the SS post .. you have been FEATURED 🙂
    Thanks so much for an amazing dish and for linking up at #SaucySaturdays 🙂

  2. This is delicious!! 🙂 I love my grown p lemonade! Plus like you said it’s so refreshing!! 😀
    Congratulations on being featured this week!! 😀 Loved that Lobster Salad Roll!

    It’s great to see you have linked up with us this week too! Happy #SaucySaturdays!

    1. I love Corona (or any Mexican beer), too so if I drink a cocktail I want it simple and refreshing, so this one was perfect. Let me know what you think if you try it 🙂

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