Thai Inspired Vodka Cocktail | Try this Thai spin on a vodka cocktail with lots of Thai inspired flavors. My Thai inspired vodka cocktail includes Tito's vodka (my favorite vodka), Tonic water or sparkling water, simple syrup, mint leaves, Thai basil leaves, Kaffir lime leaf, lime juice, and a bird's eye chili for a fragrant, flavorful and pretty looking drink.
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I have an obsession with Thai food; the flavors and the balance of sweet, sour, spicy and salty. My favorite Thai ingredients are lemongrass, Thai chilies, Thai basil, lime, fish sauce, coconut milk, and lime leaves. I love curry and coconut soup, Massaman, Pad Thai, Pad See Ew, the list goes on and on...
After buying a Thai basil plant and mint plant, I had the idea to try to create a cocktail based on them. I had some lime leaves and red Thai chilies in the freezer (as always) and some simple syrup. (The red chili was just a garnish, for color) I brought out Tito’s vodka (not sponsored, just love it) and started muddling and pouring. The end result was a cocktail I loved.
If you don’t have simple syrup on hand, check out my simple syrup recipe post for that, it’s as easy as combining and heating sugar and water.
Learn more below about the ingredients. See recipe card for exact amounts.
- vodka: I use Titos's vodka for this cocktail because it's my favorite. Use your favorite!
- simple syrup: Simple syrup, just like it's name is really easy to make - it's just sugar and water. Use a different sweetener if you prefer or granulated sugar - but sugar will make the drink grainy. See the tip below or my blog post on how to make simply syrup.
- Thai basil leaves: Thai basil has a purple stem, long, narrow and study leaves and gives a more anise (licorice) flavor than more common Italian sweet basil.
- mint leaves: I love mint leaves in cocktails for their delicate flavor. Smack them between your hands or muddle them in your glass to release their full flavor.
- Kaffir lime leaf: lime leaves are large very sturdy almost waxy leaves with an intense citrus flavor and perfume.
- red Thai chili: you could use a green one also, or skip it. Gives some color and is a pretty garnish, in my opinion.
- lime juice: I prefer fresh lime juice but you can use bottled if you have it.
- tonic water: tonic water or sparkling water will both work for this cocktail.
How to make Simply Syrup: Heat together equal parts of sugar and water, stirring, just until the sugar dissolves. This allows for a smoother drink with no sugar granules.
How to Make a Thai Inspired Vodka Cocktail
- Wash the herbs if needed.
- Make simple syrup.
First, make your Simple Syrup. It takes 5 minutes and it's really easy. Or use sugar.
Add the simple syrup and the lime leaf, basil leaves and mint leaves to a glass.
Use a cocktail muddler or a spoon to muddle the leaves, which is just hitting them a bit to release their oils and flavors.
Squeeze the lime juice in.
Add the vodka.
Fill to the top with tonic water.
Garnish with the optional Thai chili.
Garnish with a sliced of lime for a pretty look.
TIP: The red Thai chili is just for looks! If you want a bit of spice in your drink, try the smashing the chili once or twice. These chilis are very hot so be careful.
Don't have simple syrup? If you don't want to make simple syrup, try using sugar instead. Your drink won't be as smooth but it'll taste great.
Don't have tonic water? Try a sparkling water or even a lemon or lime flavored sparkling water.
Don't have the Thai herbs? They are easy to find at an Asian grocer but you can skip them are try just mint if you want to.
I use a cocktail muddler or small wooden spoon when I don't have my muddler on hand.
Tips & FAQ
I think this citrusy, minty, slightly sweet cocktail goes well with Thai food.
Thai Inspired Vodka Cocktail
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 1.5 oz Vodka
- 1 cup ice
- 4-5 leaves Thai basil
- 3-4 leaves mint
- 1 Kaffir lime leaf
- 1 red Thai chili ((bird's eye chili), optional)
- ⅔ cup tonic water (or sparkling water, approximately)
- squeeze fresh lime juice
- Add the simple syrup, lime leaf, Thai basil and mint to a cocktail glass with simple syrup and muddle together.
- Add lime juice, ice, and vodka.
- Add the tonic water and garnish with the red chili (optional). Serve.
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.
Save this image to your Cocktails board on Pinterest to make later.
This post was originally posted on July 25, 2016. Updated July 07, 2022, to provide clearer recipe information, a video tutorial, and nutritional information.
My old photography.