Vodka Lemonade Recipe

A refreshing cocktail choice for the summer. Vodka lemonade with an optional dash of basil simple syrup elevates the flavor while balancing the lemonade’s acidity. When picking your vodka, look for a good-quality brand. A bottom shelf vodka isn’t going to cut it. If you’re short on time, you can use a good-quality store brand lemonade rather than homemade. Watch out for any corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup! Finish up your drink with a sprig of fresh basil and lemon wedge.

Yield: Makes 1 cocktail
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 6 minutes


For the basil simple syrup: (optional)
  • 1/2 large bunch fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the cocktail:
  • 1/2 medium lemon
  • 6 ounces store-bought or homemade lemonade (3/4 cup)
  • 2 ounces vodka (1/4 cup), such as Tito’s
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Basil Simple Syrup (optional)
  • Ice
  • 1 sprig fresh basil


  1. Make the basil simple syrup: (optional)
  2. Coarsely chop the leaves and stems from 1/2 large bunch basil leaves until you have 3/4 packed cup. Place in a small saucepan and add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the syrup thickens slightly, about 6 minutes.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Let steep and cool for 1 hour. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl and use the back of a spoon to press on the solids to extract as much as you can. Discard the solids. Add 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt to the syrup and stir until dissolved. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
  4. Make the cocktail:
  5. Cut 1 round from 1/2 medium lemon; reserve the remaining lemon.
  6. Place 6 ounces lemonade, 2 ounces vodka, and 1 to 2 tablespoons Basil Simple Syrup if desired in a pint jar or large tall glass and stir to combine. Fill the glass with ice. Taste and add an additional squeeze from the reserved lemon if needed. Garnish with the lemon round and 1 fresh basil sprig.

Source: the Kitchn

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