Lemon Basil Bitters

Fresh and bitter at the same time. Sip on that why don’t cha.

As you know we love getting freaky with our cocktails. While on a tear making all manner of bitters we wanted to think of something that had a slightly fresher flavor that we could pair with lighter spirits. Enter the lemon basil bitters, which pair well with gin and tequila. Try it in our Sloppy Swede or do whatever feels right (or wrong as the case may be).

Equipment Needed: 2 – 1 PT Mason Jars with Lids, Vegetable Peeler, Coffee Filter, Drip Coffee Filter Basket


  • 3/4 C 160 proof vodka (we used Devil’s Springs; about $17.99/750 ml)
  • 1 lemon ($0.50/each)
  • 1/3 C basil (we used Gotham Greens for a little locavore flair; $3.99/1 oz)
  • 3 pieces dried lemongrass (about $4.99/oz)
  • 1/2 TSP black peppercorns ($3.69/2.25 oz jar)


  • Break the lemongrass stalks in half and add them to one of the pint jars. Pour in the peppercorns and tear up the basil into smaller pieces and add them as well.

Tear the basil into smaller pieces but don’t shred them too tiny.

  • With your vegetable peeler remove the peel of a lemon being careful to get as little of the pith (white part) as possible. Add this to the jar with the other dry ingredients and pour in the vodka.
  • Seal the jar and give it a good swirl. Place it in the fridge and let it steep for one week, swirling the mixture every other day.
  • After week one remove the basil pieces and place it back in your ice box. Infuse for another week with the same swirling schedule.
  • At the end of the second week, place a coffee filter in the basket of a drip coffee maker and place it over the mouth of the other mason jar.
  • Pour the liquid through the coffee filter to strain out the solids. Mix with  1/4 C of our base bitters recipe and let sit for at least a day for the flavors to meld.

5 responses to “Lemon Basil Bitters

  1. Pingback: The Sloppy Swede | Brothers Brown School of Cooking

  2. Can you do this with dried basil?

    • The Brothers Brown

      You can give it a shot. Dried herbs are stronger than fresh, so just reduce the amount you use by at least half.

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