Yam Bam, Thank You Ma’am

Recipe by Christopher Francis


  • small handful of Basil Leaves (4-6 Leaves)
  • 2 oz. Wódka Vodka
  • 3/4 oz. Ube Syrup*
  • 3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 oz. Q Elderflower Tonic Water


Prep couple glass first: Fill a 8 oz. Nick and Norah Glass with ice water to chill.

Tear the basil leaves and place them in the bottom of a small shaker tin. Pour the lime juice, ube syrup, and vodka into the small shaker tin, fill the tin with ice, place the larger shaker tin on top of the small tin, tap the end hard to create a seal. Shake for 7 seconds vigorously. Pop the seal and separate the two tins, allow any run off from the small tin to pour back into the large tin. Add the Q Elderflower Tonic Water to the cocktail. Swirl the Large tin to incorporate the tonic water. Empty the prepped Nick & Norah glass. Using a Hawthorne strainer and a Fine Mesh strainer, double strain the cocktail into the chilled glass.

*Ube Syrup Recipe

  • 12 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1 Ratio)
  • 3/4 oz. McCormick’s Ube Extract

Mix the Ube Extract into the simple syrup. stir to incorporate throughout. Keep refrigerated.

Shelf Life: 30 days

Glassware: 8 oz. Nick and Norah Glass

Cocktail Inspiration:

I came across Ube watching a cooking show. In the show they were touring through Japan and featured a restaurant that utilized Ube into a Milkshake. Ube is a an Asian Sweet potato or yam that has a very rich, vibrant purple color. I am half Japanese so I love using Asian flavors into cocktails, I thought the color and ingredient would be great for a cocktail. The extract I found has a a rich deep purple color, as well as a vanilla, coconut flavor with the sweet, starchiness of a yam. I’ve been kind of on a gimlet kick lately and a basil gimlet has been one of my favorites, so naturally I wanted to try it with an Ube syrup. I enjoyed the result but still felt the cocktail wasn’t complete. To add a little more floral element to my cocktail I used Q’s Elderflower Tonic and it worked beautifully. Seeing as Ube is a sweet potato or a yam I needed to highlight that into the name. I love puns so naturally I used a pun in the name.