6 Servings

The classic basil martini recipe with a twist


  • 2 cups cold, lemon-flavored vodka
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (preferably Meyer lemons)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 18 basil leaves
  • Ice


  • 1

    Martinis can be made ahead and be ready to be shaken to order as soon as your guests arrive.

  • 2

    In a small saucepot, warm the lemon juice and 6 basil leaves over low heat. Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Chill completely.

  • 3

    Remove the basil leaves and, in a large pitcher, combine the vodka and lemon-juice-sugar mixture. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

  • 4

    Fill your cocktails shaker 3/4 of the way with ice, add 2 basil leaves, and pour in lemon-drop martini. Shake. Serve in a martini glass with 1 fresh basil leaf for garnish.


Lemon Ginger Martini: Exchange the basil for 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped ginger. Before adding the lemon-sugar mixture to the pitcher, strain out the ginger with a fine mesh strainer.