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May 6, 2009 06:55 AM

Cocktails from the garden

Now that it's spring and I've managed to build myself an herb garden, I'd love some cocktail ideas that will help me put it to good use! So far I have mint, cilantro, basil, lavender, parsley, and rosemary. I also have a vegetable garden (with cucumber for my Pimm's!) and a few edible flowers that could come in handy. Your favorite spring and summer cocktail ideas are welcome, as are any suggestions for plants to add and cocktails to accompany them. I'm looking forward to your ideas!

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  1. I highly recommend the LUPEC-Boston created Irma La Douce

    1 1/2 oz Hendrick's Gin
    1/2 oz green Charteuse
    1/2 oz cucumber puree (peel + blend fresh cucumber, then pass through a sieve)
    1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
    1/2 oz grapefruit juice
    1/4 oz simple syrup
    Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

    1. I had a drink in Tucson recently that used all the ingredients of a mojito but with basil insted of mint.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ola

        Now you have me thinking...
        I wonder if you used Thai basil and some coconut milk instead of the lime/mint...

        1. re: isadorasmama

          That's starting to make me think about thai iced tea, which would also be good as a cocktail. I also saw a recipe for lavender lemonade that got me thinking.

          Thanks for the tips so far! Now I just need the sun to come out so I can enjoy the drinks on the patio.

      2. For mint, I love Audrey Saunder's recipes.

        Look up the Old Cuban and the Gin Gin Mule:

        My fiance is also a fan of the tequila version of an eastside which itself, is a variant of the southside. Whew.

        Tequila Eastside
        2 oz. tequila blanco
        1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
        3/4 oz simple syrup
        4 slices cucumber
        1 spring mint

        Muddle cucumber and mint, add other ingredients. Shake vigorously. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. If you like things spicy, make it with Tanteo Jalapeno tequila. We typically use Herradura Silver. Fans of some heat might also like the Poquito Picante which uses cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno.

        6 to 8 cilantro leavess
        2 slices of cucumber with skin
        3 slices of jalapeño (leave seeds in for maximum heat
        )¾ oz fresh lemon juice
        ¾ oz simple syrup
        ½ oz Cointreau
        2 oz gin

        Muddle cilantro, cucumber, and jalapeño with lemon juice, pressing gently. Add remaining ingredients. Shake well and strain twice (julep spoon + tea strainer thing usually works for me). Garnish with a dry chili pepper.

        Eben Freeman from Tailor has a great concoction called the Agua Verde with cilantro but it looks fairly complicated to make at home.

        And if you've got a bunch of rhubarb and some spare time, you could try to recreate a Rhubarb Bridge from Franny's in Brooklyn:

        1. I have a friend who does a wonderful summer drink with rosemary, grapefruit juice, and vodka. I think she makes a simple syrup with the rosemary, and then adds it to a simple vodka and pink grapefruit (fresh squeezed, ideally), It's very nice, I'll try to remember to get her recipe next time I see her.