Spring is upon us, which means gentle, crisp breezes, sun-kissed flowers, and early evenings on the porch are all just around the corner. A Mint Julep or Cucumber Cooler in hand can only make spring that much sweeter, no? If you’re growing herbs in your garden this season, consider adding cocktail ready herbs and citrus to the mix. Imagine a freshly shaken cocktail ready in minutes, and all within reach of your own backyard.
***Would you like to learn more about the plants behind your favorite boozy beverages? Check out our giveaway details below! Entering is as simple as throwing a lime in your favorite margarita.
Basil – If you enjoy adding fresh Basil leaves to your pizzas and pastas, then perhaps adding these fragrant leaves to your cocktail is a logical next step? Muddled basil leaves add a nice Italian twist to a traditional martini, adds flavor to hard lemonades, and compliments most cocktails with a tomato base.
Growing Tip: Basil loves warm weather. Plant this herb when temperatures remain in the 70’s or warmer, and keep these plants well protected from frost.
Cilantro – If you haven’t added fresh sprigs of cilantro to your martini– run, don’t walk! Even Bond would appreciate the invigorating flavors of cilantro the next time you serve up a martini, shaken, and not stirred. Cilantro also adds a zesty flavor to Cucumber Coolers, or try freezing cilantro in ice for a frozen margarita. Get inspired with these flavorful cilantro cocktails ideas over at Organic Authority.
Growing Tip: Cilantro plants do not transfer well, and should be started from seed whenever possible.
Lavender – Cocktails made with sprigs of lavender is the latest chic trend at dinner parties. The fragrant, purple flowers on lavender are perfect for stirring a martini, or adding an intriguing flavor to lemon drinks – like hard lemonades or Lemon Drops. Are we the only one’s eager to try this lavender infused simple syrup?
Growing tip: Lavender is extremely drought resistant and grows best in well-drained soil and in full sun.
Lime – these flavor packed green fruit are perfect for margaritas, but also taste wonderful squeezed in Bloody Mary’s, or added to many vodka drinks. Plus, the best Cuban Mojito’s are not only made with mint leaves, sugar, and rum – but also a wedge of lime that gets muddled with the other ingredients. Try any one of these 10 Lime Cocktails at your next dinner party.
Growing Tip: This fruit tree prefers to grow in tropical or semitropical climates – however, this plant will also grow in cooler, drier climates with a little extra work.
Mint – On a warm weekend afternoon, adding a cool touch to your favorite hard lemonade recipe, a fresh mojito or mint julep can be very invigorating. Simply adding it as a fragrant garnish to other cocktails just screams, “Spring is here!”
Growing Tip: Grow this herb in a container to keep it from taking over your garden, as this herb is notorious for spreading very quickly.
And if you’re growing sage in your cocktail garden… we love this cocktail recipe using muddled fresh sage leaves, bourbon, and Benedictine (an herbal liquor). Benedictine and bourbon bring out the flavor of muddled sage, while verjus (a tart unfermented grape juice) adds a bit of acidity.
7 sage leaves, plus one for garnish
½ oz verjus
dash simple syrup
2 ounces Jim Beam bourbon
½ oz Benedictine
In a cocktail shaker, muddle 7 sage leaves with verjus and simple syrup. Fill with ice, then add Jim Beam, Benedictine, and bitters. Shake well, then strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with additional sage leaf.
Giveaway details: The Drunken Botanist, written by Amy Stewart explores the extraordinary, lesser known, and sometimes bizarre plants behind your favorite boozy drinks. This book will not only make you the most interesting guest at the next cocktail party – it’s also packed full of recipes using fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
To enter this giveaway: Eager to win this book for free? Leave a comment below, and tell us your favorite fruit, vegetable, and/or herb you enjoy in your cocktails. We will select a winner at random in one week from today (4/3/2013). Good luck!
Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed.