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Spa Day – a Vodka Cocktail with Lemon and Mint

white cocktail in a martini glass garnished with mint perched on top of the book Essential 3-Ingredient Cocktails

My new book Essential 3-Ingredient Cocktails comes out in less than two weeks! Pre-order your copy today over on Amazon.

Essential 3-Ingredient Cocktails is an easy to digest collection of 75 simple cocktail recipes, including classic, modern, and original recipes. The Spa Day is one of my original recipes from the book, featuring vodka, lemon, and an easy mint syrup.

A cool, light, and delicious cocktail any time of year

The Spa Day combines vodka with freshly squeezed lemon juice and mint syrup. This blend of ingredients is cool and crisp, and tastes great no matter what time of year you’re drinking it. I love any cocktail that’s versatile AND easy, so this is a recipe I’ve come back to again and again. No matter your cocktail-making skill level, you can whip this up in no time!

“The Spa Day is a simple vodka sour I created with fresh lemon and cool mint. This easygoing cocktail is light and uplifting any time, but it’s especially good on a day off or following a massage or dip in a hot tub. On weekends, I often mix up cocktails on the fly with whatever ingredients I have on hand. The Spa Day is one of those improvised recipes that I’ve enjoyed making again and again.”

– Amy Traynor, Essential 3-Ingredient Cocktails
pouring a shaken cocktail from the shaker into a martini glass on a black background with red flowers

Three simple ingredients

The Spa Day cocktail is made with just:

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz mint simple syrup

How to make the mint syrup

If you want to take a deep dive into cocktail syrups, check out my Ultimate Guide to Cocktail Syrups! I discuss herbal syrups like this one at length in Part Two.

Don’t be intimidated by making your own syrups at home, it’s generally a very quick and straight-forward process, and it’s so rewarding to handcraft your own drinks from start to finish. The flavor of fresh herbal syrups is also hard to beat, and can really make the cocktail something extraordinary.

To make this syrup, you’ll whip up a batch of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water), then pour the hot syrup over fresh mint leaves and steep the mixture like tea. Once the liquid has cooled, you can strain out the mint and you’ll be left with a delicious mint simple syrup that will last at least a couple weeks in the fridge.

Recipe substitutions & variations

Don’t have access to fresh mint? You can purchase mint syrup on Amazon or find the Cocktail Artist brand at most Walmart stores for just a few bucks.

Out of vodka? Try it with gin, white rum, tequila, or aquavit!

Out of lemons? Use lime juice for a Mint Gimlet, with either vodka or gin. Use lime juice and white rum for a Mint Daiquiri.

Use freshly squeezed juice. No matter what you do, make sure you use freshly squeezed citrus juice. It really makes all the difference.

Try an even easier variation on this cocktail: Easy Lemon Vodka Cocktail (3 Ingredients)

top down view of the Spa Day cocktail and its corresponding page in the book with red azalea flowers

Want more 3-ingredient cocktail inspiration?

Head over to Instagram for more recipes from Essential 3-Ingredient Cocktails, including:

view of page 85 in Essential 3-Ingredient Cocktails, featuring the Spa Day cocktail recipe

About the book

Making a great homemade cocktail doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it may sound. Essential 3-Ingredient Cocktails shows you how to make fantastic cocktails from the comfort of your home, without prior experience or lots of fancy equipment and ingredients.

Brimming with tried-and-true advice, this guide makes home mixology as easy as 1, 2, 3. All you need are a few essential tools, a bottle of your favorite spirit, and this collection of 75 easy-to-make, properly balanced 3-ingredient cocktails.

Essential 3-Ingredient Cocktails includes:

  • Discover how to stock your bar with the essential tools and equipment, best spirits, and more, including recipes for mixing up your own flavored syrups.
  • Try your hand at 75 simple-to-make (quarantine-proof!), 3-ingredient cocktails, ranging from a classic Old Fashioned to a creative Elderflower Spritz.
  • Categorized by spirit type, each recipe chapter includes a fascinating exploration of the origins and evolution of each spirit.
top down view of a white cocktail in a martini glass garnished with mint surrounded by red flowers
a white cocktail in a martini glass surrounded by green leaves and red tropical flowers on a black background

Spa Day

Amy Traynor
This light and refreshing cocktail combines vodka with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a mint simple syrup.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cocktail


  • 2 oz vodka
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz mint syrup (see notes below for recipe)
  • mint leaf, for garnish


  • Combine the vodka, lemon juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker.
  • Fill 3/4 of the shaker with ice.
  • Shake until chilled, about 12 seconds.
  • Strain the drink into a couple glass and garnish with a mint leaf.


Mint Syrup
To make mint syrup, you infuse simple syrup with mint leaves, as if making a cup of tea. I like to pour hot simple syrup over fresh mint, cover, let cool, and then strain out the leaves. This produces a richly flavored syrup by retaining as much of the plant’s natural oils as possible, without overheating the herb.
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Start by measuring approximately 1 cup of fresh mint leaves. If you have very large leaves, you can chop them into smaller pieces. Put the mint in a 2-cup glass measuring cup.
  • Next, combine the sugar and the water in a small saucepan. Heat the mixture on medium heat, stirring frequently, until it begins to bubble. Remove from the heat and pour over the mint leaves.
  • Cover the measuring cup with plastic wrap and let sit until cooled.
  • Once the syrup is cool, strain out the mint leaves and store the syrup sealed in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Keyword 3 ingredient cocktails, lemon, mint, vodka
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
View looking up at a martini glass with a white cocktail garnished with mint and text on the top reading "Spa Day vodka lemon mint"
martini glass with lightly frothy white cocktail garnished with mint and text on the top reading Spa Day, vodka, lemon, mint
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