Now that summer is in session, it’s time for your plants to start bringing out your inner mixologist.
Botanical infusions are a staple in every bartender’s repertoire, perfect for summer sipping. Since we can't go out to enjoy these delicious drinks, we thought we'd bring them to your home.
Try out our three delightful cocktails and one outstanding mocktail inspired by the plants you've been growing at home- ready for your next evening drink, socially distant catch-up or lockdown birthday.
Let's get started!
A common element of many cocktails is a simple syrup which can be bought from most supermarkets, but is easy to make at home.
Making a simple syrup
For simple syrup, you will need 1 part sugar and 1 part water (choose your quantity based on how much you want to make). Bring this to boil in a pan and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Allow the syrup to cool and then pour it into an airtight container to keep in the fridge for up to two weeks and use when needed.
Now you have mastered a simple syrup lets move on to the main event. Grab those cocktail shakers and have some fun!
Having bought some Plant Pack herbs you are all set to make a magical mojito fresh from the garden. Choose a zesty lemon mint for a citrus kick or opt for the strawberry mint for those with a sweeter tooth. Follow this great recipe from Gimme some Oven for a perfectly refreshing homegrown mojito.
10 Fresh mint leaves and more for garnish
2 oz White Rum
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
2-3 tablespoons of simple syrup, to taste
Making your Classic Mojito:
- Add mint, rum, lime juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Using a pestle or the back of a spoon gently crush the ingredients to release the flavours.
- Add 1 cup of ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
- Strain into a tall glass filled with ice.
- Top with soda water and add extra lime wedges for a professional-looking finish!
Lavender Bee’s Knee’s
A Bee’s Knee’s has been around since the 1920’s prohibition, using sweet flavours to mask low-quality gin. Luckily times and gin qualities have changed but this cocktail has passed the test of time. Using your homegrown Lavender, this gorgeous recipe from The Gastronoms gives this old school classic a sophisticated floral twist.
For the Lavender and Honey Simple Syrup
1 cup water
4-5 Sprigs of lavender
½ cup sugar
½ cup honey
For the Cocktail
1 oz Lavender Honey Syrup
1 oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 oz Gin
Making the Lavender and Honey Simple Syrup:
- In a pan add the sugar, honey and water. Bring this to the boil.
- Once boiling, remove from the heat and add the lavender sprigs. Leave this to infuse for 15 minutes.
- Using a fine sieve or strainer to remove the lavender, pour the syrup into an airtight container, such as an empty jam jar. This can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Making your Lavender Bee’s Knee’s Cocktail:
- Add 1 oz of Lavender Honey Syrup, 1 oz of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2 oz of gin to a cocktail shaker and then fill with ice.
- Shake up your ingredients and strain into your favourite cocktail glass!
- Add a sprig of lavender to make your drink extra special.
Here's a fun and fruity option from Saveur. Freshly picked strawberries and mint provide a perfect subtle sweetness that still packs a punch. Sit back, relax and enjoy this tipple, it’s the perfect reward for all your growing efforts.
6 Mint Leaves
3 Hollowed out Strawberries (extra if wanted for garnish)
½ oz simple syrup
2 oz gin
1 oz Lillet Blanc
Crushed Ice to serve
Making your Strawberry-Lillet Crush:
- In a cocktail shaker add the strawberries, mint and simple syrup. Use a pestle or a spoon and gently crush the ingredients to release flavour, but not too much as to make them into a pulp!
- Fill the shaker with ice and add the gin and Lillete. Shake vigorously.
- Strain the contents of the shaker into a glass filled with crushed ice.
- Add strawberries for garnish and enjoy!
Thyme is not just for the roasting tin my friends! After a long week, find some thyme and snip yourself some fresh sprigs. Thisg rown-up lemonade created by Martha Stewart is easy to make, zesty and refreshing.
3 Sprigs of Thyme
1 Teaspoon of fine sugar
2 Lemon wedges
1 oz Cold water
Making your Thyme Lemonade:
- Using a pestle or spoon gently crush the thyme, sugar and lemon in a glass.
- Add the tequila, cold water and ice. Stir well.
If you fancy this but a little bit stronger we recommend adding a dash of Tequila or Vodka, we won't tell if you don’t!
We hope you have as much fun with these cocktails as you have had with growing your very own kitchen gardens. Let us know how you get on and make sure to tag @plantpack__ on Instagram so we can see all your amazing pictures!