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Grow Your Own Cocktail Herb Garden

05/09/2017 09:56 EDT | Updated 05/09/2017 10:01 EDT
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Cold refreshing summer lemonade mojito in a glass on a slate board and stone background

This is not your grandma's herb garden... make friends and influence people with your own cocktail herb garden. We show you how to grow and what to grow for organic, locally-grown cocktails. Yup! That just happened!

Give your tired old herb garden a serious reboot this spring with a fresh take on growing those things that can truly make you happier. Planting your own cocktail herb garden means that you can whip up a fancy drink at a moments notice.

Do you have a really great friend? Reward them for knowing you with a cocktail herb garden in a planter that makes the perfect gift!

Cocktail herb gardens require full sun and sandy soil. Its best to situate your cocktail herb garden where you can easily access it from your deck chair. Here are the essentials:

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Mint

There is actually a variety of mint called 'mojito mint' but other varieties work well too. Mint likes sun, but will tolerate some shade. Mint plants like their soil well drained, but moist which is why you will find mint growing naturally on the banks of ponds and streams.

Mint is prolific and benefits from pruning, so pick it at will. Works really well in a mint julep or a mojito. Leaves make a wonderful garnish for cocktails and can be frozen in ice cubes if you want to be fancy.

Mint Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bunch mint

In a medium pot, simmer sugar and water for 5 minutes, stirring often so that all the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add mint leaves and steep for 5 minutes. Remove mint leaves and refrigerate.

Mint Julep

  • 1 ounce mint simple syrup
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Fresh mint sprig for garnish

Mojito

  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces white rum
  • 1/2 cup club soda

Place mint leaves in glass with one lime wedge and muddle. Add sugar and two more lime wedges and muddle again. Fill glass with ice cubes, pour the rum over the ice and fill with club soda. Add a lime wedge for garnish.

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Basil

Basil is easy to grow. Plant in containers or in your garden in a sunny spot. Basil is great to use as a garnish, adding color and fragrance to your cocktail creations. Pinch off the flower heads so that the bushes continue to grow.

The Basil Smash

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 bunch basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. simple syrup

Basil Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bunch basil

In a medium pot, simmer sugar and water for 5 minutes, stirring often so that all the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add basil leaves and steep for 5 minutes. Remove basil and refrigerate syrup.

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Lavender

Plant in a sunny, well-drained area of the garden or in containers. Lavender is a perennial, so it will keep coming up each year. It's a great way to add fragrance, a delicate flavor and a splash of color to your cocktails.

Lavender Martini

  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce lavender simple syrup
  • 1 fresh lavender sprig

Fill a cocktail shaker with some ice. Add vodka, lemon juice and lavender simple syrup and shake. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lavender sprig.

Lavender Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bunch lavender leaves

In a medium pot, simmer sugar and water for 5 minutes, stirring often so that all the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add lavender leaves and steep for 5 minutes. Remove leaves and refrigerate syrup.

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Cilantro

You guessed it--well-drained soil and a sunny spot is what works for this easy-to-grow herb. You can grow your cilantro from seed and it will be ready to harvest in about 3 weeks.

Cilantro Cooler

  • 1/2 cup cucumber (cubed)
  • 5 cilantro leaves, plus 1 sprig for garnish
  • Ice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce club soda

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber and cilantro leaves. Add ice, vodka, lime juice and simple syrup and shake well. Strain into glass and fill with club soda. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro.

This blog was originally published on Greenmoxie.com

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