Cocktail Herb Garden
A Cocktail Herb Garden is a great way to make sure that you have, on hand, all the herbs you need to make great cocktails. Lavender is great for flavoring vodka or your homemade tonic syrup, but we principally use the flowers as a floating garnish. Tarragon has a sharp flavor that can over-power many cocktails when muddled. We enjoy it with gin or tomato-based cocktails simply by stirring it with ice to infuse the drink with the subtle characteristics which we are looking for. Basil pairs well with almost anything. We enjoy it with fruit or tomatoes, and also use it with watermelon or pineapple cocktails. It is nice in tequila; excels in gin-based drinks; and gives bloody Mary’s a pleasant, earthy edge when torn or muddled. We are fans of rosemary in gin-based drinks where we’ll just bruise it with the ice or throw in a sprig for garnish. Mint is probably our most used herb. It should be gently muddled, otherwise it will add an off-putting bitter element to your cocktails – “Don’t mess with your mint!” Sage is a very pungent herb and needs to be used very delicately. We mainly like it with gin, but have experimented with it in bourbon-based drinks. One long, lone chive can make a great garnish for earthy or flowery drinks. We enjoy thyme in many gin cocktails as it is subtle, yet provides loads of character. Oregano is nice in gin-based drinks or with cocktails using tomato or vegetable juice. We use flat-leaf parsley exclusively as a garnish as the leaves have a great presentation. Lemon grass is great as a garnish and, when crushed with a muddler, gives a nice subtle perfuminess to cocktails. It can double as a stirring stick and we utilize it in some of our syrups – like our Tonic (Quinine) Syrup and Falernum. We use many types of edible flowers, for garnishing, and it’s nice to plant a few vegetables (peppers & tomatoes), as well.