Gone to Seed: Lime Basil Infused Vodka

I overdid things on the gardening front this year (“He Overdid It” will likely end up on my tombstone some day). Especially exciting for me were the multiple varieties of basil I had planted in both containers and along the garden beds.

However, a trick with basil is you should snip off the flowers as they appear, which encourages more leafy basilly growth. Being lazy/busy, I’d come out to see flower stalked on every basil plant on a regular basis.

Sweet basil gone to flower. Photo by Michael Paydos, 2012. dazedandconfused.wordpress.com

Sweet basil gone to flower.

Basil buds/flower sprouts/whathaveyou taste the same as the basil leaves, perhaps a bit more intense. The drawback is they are a bit woodier and if gone to actual seed a lot more bitter.

They work perfectly for infusing.

Lime basil

Lime basil tastes surprisingly similar to kaffir lime and is at the very least an acceptable substitute. Of the basil varieties I grew, it is the least similar to your generic sweet basil in taste.

Lime basil. Photo by Michael Paydos, 2012. dazedandinfused.wordpress.com

Lime basil just going to flower.


  • Lime basil buds, tender shoots, flowers, and woodier leaves
  • Vodka


  • Rinse basil well and pick out any bits that have gone to seed. You can use the tender green leaves as well, but those would better serve you in recipes (try in thai soups and seafood dishes!)
  • Put basil bits in a glass jar and add just enough vodka to cover.
  • Set aside in a cool, dark place for about 2-4 weeks.
  • Pour through a metal strainer and store in a cool place out of direct sunlight.

Tip: These exact instructions, exchanging vinegar for vodka, makes a fantastic flavored vinegar.




  • Sip it neat!
  • As a substitute for lime juice and vodka when you want a lower acid alternative
  • In a cosmo, bloody mary,
  • With soda water, tonic, ginger ale, or Sprite

Second thoughts kamikaze

  • 2 oz lime basil infused vodka
  • .5 oz triple sec
  • maraschino cherry

Shake first 2 ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry.


Basil flower sour

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist.


About Dazed & Infused

Failed science major turned to creative writing which led to a job as a bartender hack turned mixologist turned book editor turned writer who then went on to the world of International Corporate Communications. This is a bit getting back to his roots--that would be booze & science & rambling.
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1 Response to Gone to Seed: Lime Basil Infused Vodka

  1. Laura B. says:

    Hi there! I realize this post is practically an antique in internet terms by now, but thank you very much for giving me an idea of what to do with all my lime basil flowers, and with all the vodka in my house that I pretty much never drink or even put into cocktails. I’ve muddled lime basil leaves into a G&T before, and used them in a few other ways, but this is so simple and uses so much that I’m glad to have stumbled on it!

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