Raspberry Collins with Vodka and Mint | A balance of sweet and sour, this raspberry collins cocktail is made fresh and fruity with muddled raspberries and a garnish of mint leaves. This cocktail uses only a few simple, basic ingredients, making it easy to make for groups.
This raspberry collins is one of my most refreshing cocktails, on par with my Strawberry Lemonade Vodka Cocktail.
This cocktail follows the basic collins formula of a base spirit, in this case, vodka combined with a kind of homemade carbonated lemonade.
The most popular collins cocktail, a Tom Collins, is made with gin, lemon juice, sugar, and bubbly water (carbonated water).
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For this raspberry collins cocktail recipe, I swapped gin out for vodka which kind of goes with everything.
I muddled some fresh raspberries with simple syrup for the base flavor. I'll link my favorite cocktail muddler, which I use often to muddle fruit with simple syrup for cocktails, or for muddling mint for mojitos.
But! You don't need a muddler or cocktail shaker to make this drink. Make it simple and make the drink in the glass you're serving it in, and if you don't have a muddler and don't want to buy one, just use a wooden spoon or something else from your kitchen to smash the raspberries up and combine them with the simple syrup.
To finish the cocktail I add the vodka and a whole bunch of ice and then top it with unflavored bubbly water (also called carbonated water like Perrier etc.)
What is a collins cocktail?
A collins cocktail follows a base formula of lemon juice, sweetener, and bubbly water, with a spirit - usually gin or vodka, although there are many other variations. Think of it as a carbonated alcoholic lemonade of sorts.
A Tom Collins uses gin, and a Vodka Collins - also called a Joe Collins, is made with vodka instead of gin.
What is a raspberry collins?
A raspberry collins has all of the characteristics of a regular collins cocktail, with the addition of muddled raspberries. In this case, the recipe is for a Vodka Collins with raspberries and mint to garnish.
How to muddle cocktails
Muddling cocktails helps bring out the flavor in some ingredients, like mint, and helps to combine other ingredients, like fruit with simple syrups.
- combine the ingredients in the bottom of a cocktail glass
- place the muddler in the glass and twist while pressing down
- repeat a few times (1-2 times for mint, 3-4 times for soft berries)
When muddling ingredients like mint leaves (maybe for a mojito?) take care to not rip and bruise the leaves. Mint leaves will only a need a few turns with the muddler to release their oils. If you go further than this, ripping the leaves, bruising them, or absolutely crushing them, this can release the chlorophyll, which is bitter, and we don't want that in our cocktails! You can also slap mint leaves in the palm of your hand instead.
When muddling ingredients like berries, you should see them releasing their juices and breaking down to combine with the syrup or whatever you're mixing them with. I use this technique in this cocktail and also my Strawberry Lemonade Vodka Cocktail.
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This is my favorite cocktail-making accessory - my cocktail muddler. Do you need a cocktail muddler? Probably not, but I recommend one because it makes muddling easy. I don't worry about bruising my mojito mint when I use my muddler.
How to make simple syrup
To make simple syrup for cocktails, heat an equal amount of sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves. Follow my recipe post with a tutorial video for step-by-step instructions on how to make simple syrup.
About the ingredients for this recipe. See the recipe card below for exact amounts.
- the alcohol: I use vodka for this cocktail and I usually use Tito's vodka because I like its smooth flavor but you can use whatever vodka you prefer.
- the flavors: to flavor this cocktail you'll need some fresh raspberries to muddle with simple syrup, and some lemon juice. I use fresh lemon juice for this drink, but you can use the bottled stuff if you want to - I think fresh lemon juice is zippier and of course tastes fresher. These are the base flavors, the bulk of the cocktail is ice cubes and bubbly water.
- the garnish: I like to garnish this drink with a few fresh raspberries on a cocktail pick and some mint leaves because I grow them and mint goes well with raspberries. I add a few mint leaves into the drink and then a few more to garnish - just for looks.
- wash the raspberries
You can make this drink right in the glass you'll serve it in so you don't need to worry about cocktail shakers or fancy equipment. You can use something else in place of the muddler, like a wooden spoon, or a dessert spoon. You just want to create a sort of raspberry simple syrup.
Add the simple syrup and the raspberries to a cocktail glass. Muddle them together, breaking the raspberries up and combining them with the simple syrup.
Add the vodka and the lemon juice.
Give everything a gentle swirl.
Add a bunch of ice to the glass.
Add bubbly water to top off the drink.
You can serve it as is or garnish it with some fresh raspberries and mint leaves. I add a few mint leaves to the drink as well. Smack them in your hands a few times before adding them - it helps bring the flavor out!
COCKTAIL TIP: Smacking your mint will release even more flavor from the oils just under the surface of the leaves. Lay a few leaves in the palm of your hand and smack them a few times with your other hand. Just a few times will do, you don't want to bruise them and turn them bitter.
✔ Don't like vodka? Try gin instead.
✔ Don't have fresh raspberries? Thaw some frozen raspberries and use those.
> Skip the mint leaves for a shorter grocery list.
I recommend making this drink as needed. Because of the ice and bubbly water, it won't last if made ahead of time. The ice will melt and water down the drink, including the carbonation.
More cocktail recipes
Tips + FAQs
When adding mint to a cocktail as a garnish, slapping the leaves in your hands before adding them to the drink releases the oils from just under the surface, bringing out its flavor and aroma.
Raspberry Collins with Vodka and Mint
- 2 shots vodka (2 oz.)
- 1 shot lemon juice (1 oz.)
- ½ shot simple syrup (0.5 oz.)
- 5-6 raspberries
- 3-4 mint leaves
- ½ cup bubbly water (unflavored)
- mint leaves (to garnish, optional)
- raspberries (to garnish, optional)
- Muddle: Add the simple syrup and the raspberries to a glass. Muddle to break up the raspberries. 3-4 turns should do it. You can use a wooden spoon if you don't have a muddler.
- Pour: Add the vodka and lemon juice and swirl gently. Add the ice and then top with bubbly water.
- Garnish: Smack a few mint leaves and add them to the drink. Add a few more on top as a garnish. Line raspberries up on a cocktail pick and lay the pick across the rim of the glass, for a garnish. Serve immediately.
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.
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