5 Garden-Fresh Summer Cocktails
These warm-weather sips are sourced straight from the garden.
Few things can top a cocktail with herbal or other garden elements in the mix sipped on a porch or patio, maybe even within sight of the very garden where you grew the garnish or veggie tincture. I've rounded up some of the summer-ready cocktails that speak of sun and gardens and leisurely days basking in gorgeous weather. I'll be trying one (or two) of these myself this weekend.
Courtesy of Trisha Antonsen, Chief Cocktail Officer at Drizly.com
- 1 1/2 ounces spa-infused vodka*
- 2 ounces carrot ginger orange juice
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until cold and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with carrot and cucumber.
*For the spa-infused vodka:
- 4-8 ounces vodka
- lemon peels
- fresh mint
In a clean glass jar, pile lemon peels, fresh mint leaves, and cucumber slices (cut in half and remove seeds from slides) about 1/3 of the way up. Add plain vodka. Seal with lid and let sit on the counter for 2-3 days. Lightly turn and shake the bottle a couple times a day, then strain vodka to remove pieces and store in the fridge.
Credit: Trisha Antonsen, Chief Cocktail Officer at Drizly.com
- 4 ounces brut rosé wine
- 4 ounces fresh lemonade*
- 1/4 ounce lavender simple syrup**
- fresh lemon slice
Fill a large collins glass with small ice cubes. Next, pour in fresh lemonade followed by the lavender simple syrup. Once settled, fill remainder of glass with rosé and garnish with fresh lemon slice.
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 5-6 regular sized lemons)
- 1 cup fine sugar
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 8 cups cold water
Combine hot water and sugar in a large container and stir to dissolve. Once completely dissolved, add lemon juice and 8 cups of cold water and stir until fully combined. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
**Fresh lavender simple syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lavender
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved. Once at a boil, remove from heat, add lavender, and steep for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and let cool.
If you happen to be in Atlanta some lazy summer day and want to while away some time with some tasty cocktails and good food, Tap in the heart of Midtown has lots of outdoor tables for people-watching and a great brunch starring Southern favorites like a regional spin on Eggs Benedict with pimento cheese, shrimp and grits with collard greens and delicious avocado hummus. I also loved the refreshing Lonely Planet during a recent visit and strong-armed the restaurant for a recipe.
- 2 ounces Anchor Old Tom Gin
- 3/4 ounce lime juice
- 3/4 ounce thai simple (1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 handful Thai basil, two cardamom pods, the zest of 1 orange, heat in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved then set aside and allow to steep for 30 minutes)
- Brooklyn ginger beer
- 1 slice cucumber
- 4 Thai basil leaves
Tear the Thai basil and toss into a shaker tin with everything but the ginger beer. Muddle the cuke, shake, pour contents of shaker into a collins glass, top with ginger beer, finish with an absinthe spritz.
The Pimm's Cup is a garden-perfect cocktail you can load with ingredients straight from your raised bed, like mint, cucumbers and fresh citrus and strawberries if you have those on hand.
One of my all-time favorite summer cocktails, the Pimm's Cup is a garden in a glass. I like to load mine up with cucumbers, sliced lemon, lime, oranges and a big hunk of mink from my garden as a garnish. Go crazy and throw some fresh strawberries into the mix if you like.
- 2 ounce Pimm's No. 1
- 4 ounces lemon-lime soda (I like Sprite)
- lemon, lime, orange slices
- cucumber slices
In a highball glass pour the Pimm's and layer thin slices of lemon, lime, oranges and cucumbers and add ice. Top with lemon-lime soda and garnish with mint.
To truly appreciate any of these cocktails, drink them outside.