Basil Meyer Lemon Vodka Collins Recipe

Warm nights and warmer days call for a refreshing and tangy cocktail. One of the best is a classic Vodka Collins. This delightful drink is a variant of the renowned Tom Collins, a gin-based cocktail that first appeared in print in 1876 in the second edition of "The Bartender's Guide" in 1876 by the illustrious bartender Jerry Thomas. 

The Collins family of cocktails takes its name, according to one theory, from a 19th-century prank that swept through New York City, known as the "Tom Collins hoax." There are many variations on the classic cocktail these days, with one of them being the Vodka Collins. The Vodka Collins offers a crisp, citrusy alternative to its gin-based cousin, providing a light, effervescent tipple perfect for any social occasion. 

To expand on the base recipe somewhat further, recipe developer Taylor Murray has created a basil Meyer lemon Vodka Collins. By infusing these bright flavors, the true spirit of the Vodka Collins can shine through, along with an added layer of spring freshness.

Gather the Vodka Collins ingredients

A classic Tom Collins is made of 2 ounces of London dry gin, an ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a half ounce of simple syrup, and club soda filled to the top, garnished with a lemon wheel and a maraschino cherry.

For this twist, we will be using vodka, Meyer lemons, and Meyer lemon club soda. "I was able to find a Meyer lemon-flavored club soda, but a lemon-flavored soda or even just a plain soda water will certainly work in the same proportion," says Murray. 

For the basil simple syrup, gather a few sprigs of fresh basil and some plain, granulated white sugar.

Make the basil simple syrup

Simple syrup is, as the name suggests, simple to make. It's typically a 50/50 combination of sugar and water, though alterations exist and the ratio can be adapted to suit certain recipes. In addition, additional ingredients can be added to infuse the syrup with flavor, which can then, in turn, be used to flavor something else. As such, simple syrup is a great vehicle for imparting flavor into a cocktail without adding extra water.

To make the simple syrup for this recipe, combine ½ cup each of sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and shut off the heat. Add three or four sprigs of basil and let the mixture cool completely. Strain the basil out and set the syrup aside. This whole process takes about 20 minutes so make sure to prepare the simple syrup before you actually want to make your cocktail.

Prepare the glass

Ready a Collins glass by filling it with ice. For a fun garnish, press thin slices of Meyer lemon in between the ice and the glass. 

Build your drink

Start by adding 1½ ounces of vodka to the glass. On top of that, add 1 ounce of freshly juiced Meyer lemon. Add to the glass ½ ounce of the basil simple syrup. Finally, fill the glass with soda to the top.

Garnish it

Garnish the drink with a sprig of fresh basil and a straw, if desired. This drink should be consumed immediately before the ice has a chance to melt. 

As for pairings, the tangy nature of a Vodka Collins harmonizes beautifully with seafood. Think smoked salmon canapés, shrimp cocktails, or a light ceviche. The acidity in the drink can cut through the richness of the seafood, creating a perfectly balanced tasting experience. Soft, creamy cheeses such as brie or goat cheese also pair well with this cocktail, as would a crudité or charcuterie board

Basil Meyer Lemon Vodka Collins Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
This basil Meyer lemon Vodka Collins cocktail recipe combines bright citrus flavors and vodka with an added layer of herby freshness.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Fresh basil lemon vodka collins
Total time: 20 minutes
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • 3 or 4 sprigs basil
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Meyer lemon juice
  • 4 ounces Meyer lemon club soda
  • Basil and sliced Meyer lemon, for serving
  1. In a small pot, combine sugar and ½ cup water. Place over medium heat and cook until simmering, then remove from heat. Add basil and let cool to room temperature. Strain and set aside.
  2. Fill a collins glass with ice. Add vodka, then lemon juice. Add ½ ounce of basil simple syrup -- reserve the rest to use later -- and fill to the top with club soda.
  3. Garnish with lemon slices and a sprig of basil.
Calories per Serving 494
Total Fat 0.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 102.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Total Sugars 100.6 g
Sodium 26.0 mg
Protein 0.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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