Best Basil Lemon Drop Cocktails


The best basil lemon drop cocktails are a great way to enjoy Spring. There's nothing better than enjoying a cocktail on the patio in the sun!

Basil Lemon Drop Cocktails

The weather in Vancouver is heating up and I am very excited to enjoy some patio cocktails! This is the best lemon drop martini recipe to enjoy during the Spring and Summer. It is light and refreshing with the perfect tang from fresh lemon juice. Basil adds the perfect herby twist on this classic cocktail that is deliciously light yet dangerously boozy. Once you've tried it, this will easily become one of your favorite cocktails too!

What is a Basil Lemon Drop Cocktail?

A lemon drop is a vodka based cocktail with a flavor modelled after the lemon drop candy. It's considered a classic martini. Traditionally, it includes vodka, triple sec, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup garnished with a lemon twist. These simple ingredients create an easy cocktail with a fresh taste that is deliciously easy to sip! The original lemon drop cocktail recipe is said to have been created in San Francisco at a well known fern bar called Henry Africa's.

My version of these classic cocktails comes with a twist. Fresh basil adds the perfect herby flavor to this light concoction. Honey is also used instead of simple syrup for a slightly stronger flavor. The honey also saves time in preparing ingredients for your cocktail, since you don't need to heat simple syrup on the stove. This is the perfect cocktail for patio sipping this time of year!

Basil Lemon Drop Cocktails

How Do I Make the Best Basil Lemon Drop Cocktails?

While the full recipe instructions are below, here are some tips to help you prepare the my lemon drop recipe!

  • Basil: Fresh basil is what gives this cocktail its fun twist! If you are not a fan of basil, you can also use fresh mint. The fresh herbs are important, because they add the different flavors to the lemon drop. Do not use dried herbs for this cocktail.
  • Lemon Juice: As the cocktail's name would suggest, the secret to a good lemon drop martini is fresh lemon juice! In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle your fresh basil with the fresh lemon juice. If you don't have the specific tools to muddle your herbs, I recommend using the bottom of the handle of a spoon, or the end of a wooden lemon juicer. The tart lemon juice helps to break down the basil as you muddle it. Once the herbs have been muddled, add ice cubes to the shaker.
  • Vodka: I recommend that you use a smooth vodka. If you want to add even more lemon flavor, you could use citron vodka. I generally find that the fresh lemon juice adds enough flavor so it doesn't need flavored vodka. Using a shot glass, you will add your vodka and other ingredients to the cocktail shaker.
  • Triple Sec: To add to the fresh citrus flavor of this cocktail, we will add triple sec or another orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier. This helps to add some sweetness to the cocktail.
  • Honey: Pure honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness to create this tart yet sweet drink.

How to Serve My Basil Lemon Drop Cocktails

To prepare your cocktail glasses, you will want to chill your martini glasses. I usually put mine in the freezer for a couple of minutes before preparing my cocktails. The traditional way to serve these is with a sugared rim. To do this, run a lemon wedge along the edges of your martini glass to get the juice on the rim. Then dip the rim of the glass in a shallow plate of superfine sugar. Shake your cocktail in the shaker and pour into your rimmed glasses. Garnish with a slice of lemon or twist of lemon rind and a fresh basil leave and enjoy - cheers!

Basil Lemon Drop Cocktails

Other Cocktails You Might Enjoy

Looking for more of the best cocktails to enjoy? Here are some of my favorite cocktail recipes!

Best Basil Lemon Drop Cocktails

The best basil lemon drop cocktails are a great way to enjoy Spring. There’s nothing better than enjoying a cocktail on the patio in the sun!

Prep Time:
Cooking Time:


  • 6 basil leaves (could substitute with mint if you prefer)
  • 1oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 tsp honey (more or less, to taste)
  • garnish: lemon twist, lemon slice, or fresh basil leaf


  1. Optional sugar rim: moisten the rim of your martini or cocktail glass and dip into a shallow plate of sugar.
  2. Muddle the basil in lemon juice in the bottom of your cocktail shaker.
  3. Add ice, vodka, Triple Sec, and honey to the shaker, Shake vigorously until well combined and very cold.
  4. Strain into your martini glass and add your garnish. Enjoy!

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