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Cocktails with Garden Grown Herbs

Summer is the time when your herb garden thrives, and, as we know, herbs like a bit of picking, so what better way to enjoy them than with a fresh summer cocktail at the end of the day? Here are some of the best cocktails with herbs.

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If you have an abundance of garden herbs, have you considered making cocktails with them? You can easily preserve them so they don't go to waste making them into syrups and from rosemary to mint to thyme, there's always a way to weave these beautiful botanicals into a refreshing summer drink.

They don't have to be fancy or alcohol-based. You can simply pick sprigs from your herb pot to garnish your drinks throughout the season - a borage flower is a great garnish for most drinks for example. It's a tasty and satisfying way to utilise everything you've grown and quench your thirst.

Here's a selection of the best herb cocktails, along with some classic recipes and little-known gems. Remember to always drink responsibly.

Make Herbal Syrups

There are many cocktails that require syrups, and while herb syrup should never be drunk on its own, it's a fantastic way to infuse your cocktails with the flavours of your homegrown herbs.
Making your herb-infused syrup is an easy process. You'll need approximately 240 ml of water, 480 ml of sugar and 2 handfuls of whichever herb you choose. Bring it to a boil, let it simmer for around 15 minutes, remove from heat, let it cool for an hour, and strain out the herbs. Simple. You now have a syrup that can be used and stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. You can even use syrup in cooking or on top of ice cream...

Mojito Mint
Mojito Mint
Have it classic with garden mint or opt for a lemon balm variation.

The Mojito

Herbs to use:

- Mint (the classic)

- Lemon balm

  • Soda water
  • 60ml white rum
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Crushed ice

Mix the lime juice, sugar and mint leaves in a small jug, crushing the mint as you go – you can use the end of a rolling pin for this. Pour into a tall glass and add a handful of ice.

Pour over the rum, stirring with a long-handled spoon. Top up with soda water, garnish with mint and serve.

Gin & Tonic with Rosemary
Gin & Tonic with Rosemary
Bring out the botanical notes of a Gin & Tonic with different herbs such as rosemary.

Gin & Tonic

Herbs to try:

- Rosemary
- Basil
- Sage
- Lavender
- Thyme
- Tarragon

  • Tonic water
  • 60ml gin
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wedge

Curious about the key to an excellent G&T? It's not solely about the gin. Abundant ice, which melts slower than just a handful of cubes, is essential to prevent the drink from becoming watered down too swiftly.

Bring out the botanical notes of your favourite gin, trying different herbs or fruit to your liking.

Rosemary Gimlet
Rosemary Gimlet
A classic gimlet with a twist.

Gimlet

Herbs to try:

- Rosemary
- Thyme

  • 50ml rosemary, thyme or lime syrup
  • 60ml gin
  • 1/2 lime freshly squeezed
  • Ice cubes
  • Herbal sprig to garnish

Put a martini or coupe glass in the fridge to chill. Pour 50ml of the syrup into a jug or tall glass and add a few ice cubes and the Gin. Stir until the outside of the container feels very cold.

Strain the mixture into your chilled glass and garnish with a slice of lime and your herbal sprig.

Borage Cocktail
Borage Cocktail
Borage Flowers
Borage Flowers
Borage flowers have a great cucumber like taste that make a great syrup or as a garnish.

Borage Fizz

Herbs to use:

- Use borage leaves + flowers for the syrup.

- Borage flowers for garnish.

  • 65ml gin
  • 1 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 1 tbsp borage syrup
  • 1 splash fresh lime juice
  • 1 splash of soda water
  • Borage flower ice cube, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, pour the gin, elderflower liqueur, borage syrup, and lime juice. Fill with ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add borage flower ice cubes and top with club soda. Serve and enjoy.

Bloody Mariana
Bloody Mariana
A Bloody Mary infused with Oregano

Bloody Mariana

Herbs to use:

- Oregano

  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 dash white pepper
  • 1 dash celery salt
  • 1 dash oregano
  • 180ml tomato juice
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 60ml vodka

This is a twist on the traditional Bloody Mary with added lime and oregano.

Place the ice in a large jug. Measure the vodka, tomato juice and lemon juice and pour it straight onto the ice.

Add 3 shakes of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco (or more if you like it very spicy) and a pinch of celery salt and pepper. Stir until the outside of the jug feels cold, then strain the cocktail into 2 tall glasses.

Top up with fresh ice, sprinkle a teaspoon of lime juice and a dash of oregano into the recipe, and you're good to go.

Chives Blossom Cocktail
Chives Blossom Cocktail
Chives Blossom
Chives Blossom
Chives Blossom make a great pairing with a classic martini.

Chives Blossom Martini

Herbs to use:

- Chives

  • 60ml chive blossom-infused gin
  • 10ml dry vermouth

Chive Infused Gin:

  • 150ml gin
  • 1 small chive blossom

Chive blossom may be an unusual choice for many, but if you enjoy savoury cocktails, give this chive blossom martini a try. Infuse your gin with chive blossoms, vermouth, and let it sit for a few hours before straining. Pour into a martini glass and enjoy.

Lavender Lemonade
Lavender Lemonade
Lavender infused syrup balancing out a lemonade.

Lavender Lemonade Mocktail

Herbs to use:

- Lavender

  • 100ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Lavender syrup
  • 100ml soda water
  • Ice
  • Lavender sprigs

Make your lavender syrup (see the process at the top). Squeeze and add lemon juice, sparkling water to a highball glass and stir. Fill the glass with ice and stir to combine and chill. Garnish with a lemon wedge or a lavender sprig.

Mint Julep Mocktail
Mint Julep Mocktail
The classically refreshing Mint Julep Mocktail.

Mint Julep Mocktail

Herbs to use:

- Mint

  • 120ml sparkling water
  • 120g white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 500ml crushed ice
  • 120ml prepared lemonade
  • Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Here's a cocktail idea without the booze. Mix lemon juice, sugar, and water in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool. Pour the mixture over mint leaves and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Mix with ginger ale and ice for a refreshing mint julep mocktail.

Enjoy the flavours of your garden in these herb-infused cocktails. Whether you're a seasoned mixologist or just starting your cocktail journey, these recipes are sure to impress. Cheers to the joys of summer and the bountiful herbs from your garden.


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