Always have the freshest ingredients on hand and elevate your cocktail game.
Whether you’re a gardener who enjoys a fresh drink, or a mixologist tired of having to buy single-use herbs, growing your own herbs to use in your drinks is super easy and fun to do!
Here are our 5 must-have herbs in your cocktail garden:
Mint is arguably the most iconic of cocktail herbs, being a staple ingredient for many drinks, such as the classic mint mojito. Like most herbs, mint is quite flavoursome and can be used fresh, dried, muddled or as a simple syrup.
As mint is a perennial herb it is best grown in pots or planters. If you’re growing mint in the garden, make sure you trim regularly and be careful of it taking over. We love growing mint in a mason jar on a sunny kitchen windowsill. Ensure that your mint gets the right nutrients to grow strong and healthy by using a premium potting mix, like Scotts Performance Naturals Organic-Based Potting Mix.
Basil is a super versatile herb, whose flavour helps elevate several spirits, such as gin, tequila or rum. Basil is also well paired with other garden-fresh ingredients like strawberry, lemon or cucumber and together they make for a refreshing spritzer.
The most common variety used is sweet basil but there are other varieties available to experiment with. Some are sweet, peppery or have citrus overtones, all of which add a unique flavour profile to your drink. When growing basil ensure that it has plenty of sunlight and water. It’s also important to pinch off the top set of leaves from the basil plant every 2 weeks or so for continuous and greater production of leaves.
Lavender is one of the most aesthetically pleasing herbs to add to any cocktail and gives an added floral and woody flavour like no other. In particular, this herb is fantastic when paired with spirits such as vodka or gin, making your next gin and tonic or martini an aromatherapy in a glass.
To make it even better, lavender is easy to grow when planted in a container that is exposed to direct sunlight. Make sure to water daily and harvest once blossoms begin to open.
Rosemary has a rich, woody flavour that perfectly complements some of the most iconic cocktails. For example, rosemary can create a great smoky spin on the typical whiskey sour or old fashioned. Don’t be afraid to pair it with other fruits and herbs, like lavender or grapefruit for fresh flavour - the possibilities are endless!
Rosemary doesn’t need a lot of attention once it’s planted and established, but to grow the best, make sure that you start with the best. Use a premium potting mix, like Scotts Performance Naturals Organic-Based Potting Mix, that is boosted with natural nitrogen and other organic ingredients designed for optimal plant growth.
Thyme has a distinctive, woody flavour that works well as a simple syrup or garnish in many cocktails, for example you can create a herbaceous twist on an old fashion or martini. For those who prefer citrus undertones, you can grow a lemon thyme variety and use it for drinks like a Limoncello thyme gin spritz.
To grow thyme, you’ll need a spot with full sun and well-drained soil. Like rosemary, thyme is drought tolerant and susceptible to root rot, so only water them when the soil is completely dry.