4 Herb-Infused Summer Cocktails for Sophisticated Sipping

By Chris Edmunds

 
Want to use those delicious summer herbs? Shake up some delicious, herb-infused cocktails!
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Is there anything more blissful than sitting on a sunny patio, listening to music, and sipping on fancy, herb-infused drinks? Now, there are some pretty swanky cocktail bars around here that serve up some impressive herbal cocktails, but the bill can get a little steep after 2 or 3. So, why not just bring the sophisticated cocktail bar vibes to your patio at home and serve your own herb-infused creations? Making summer drinks infused with garden herbs is easier than you think—all you have to do is muddle them or create herb-infused simple syrups!

kaw valley greenhouse fresh herb summer drinks lime mint muddling.pngHow Do You Muddle Herbs for Cocktails?

To really activate the flavors of your herbs, it’s a good idea to crush, or “muddle,” them with a wooden spoon. Just toss your herbs in the bottom of your glass or cocktail shaker, then press and twist the spoon repeatedly to crush the leaves. This helps release their essence without resulting in a bunch of little leafy chunks that could get stuck in your teeth. That’s not quite the sophisticated look we’re going for!

Making Herb-Infused Simple Syrup Cocktails

Another inventive way to infuse herb flavors into cocktails is by making your own simple syrups. These sweet, aromatic cocktail enhancers really are true to their name—they couldn’t be easier to make! Your typical simple syrup base is just one part white sugar and one part water, melted together in a saucepan on the stove. 

To infuse herbs in your simple syrup, take a handful of the herbs of your choosing, give them a thorough rinse, and then toss them in the saucepan. Let them simmer for 1–2 hours, allow the syrup to cool, and then strain it through a reusable coffee filter to remove the chunks. The syrup will keep for several weeks in the fridge if you store them in clean jars. 

Try These Herb-Infused Drink Recipes This Summer!

We put together these four delicious, herb-infused drink recipes so you can enjoy your herb garden to its fullest extent this summer! We’ve got one cocktail for each of the quintessential summer drinks: vodka, white rum, gin, and rosé wine. Combine your gardening skills with your bartending skills to create incredible gourmet drinks without having to pay cocktail lounge prices!

kaw valley greenhouse fresh herb summer drinks grapefruit rosemary.pngSparkling Rosemary Greyhound

There’s something comforting and nostalgic about the flavor and scent of rosemary-infused cocktails. This savory herb is often a featured player in holiday recipes and roasted meats, but it’s a surprisingly perfect pairing with tart, tangy grapefruit. This sparkling rosemary greyhound is the perfect cocktail for those who like less sweetness and a little more zip—something with a kick to kick off the night!  

Ingredients:

Shake up the simple syrup, vodka, and grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker and pour over ice in a tall cocktail glass. Top with sparkling water, and serve with a fresh sprig of rosemary. If you want more of a savory flavor, salt the rim of your glass to make a “salty dog” instead of a greyhound! 

kaw valley greenhouse fresh herb summer drinks blackberry mint.pngRoasted Blackberry Mojito

Mint is the key ingredient that brings a crisp, cool flavor to this much-loved summer drink. While there are countless variations on the classic recipe, each with various fruity infusions to add a little acidity and tang, we think this roasted blackberry mojito is pretty amazing. The richness of roasted summer berries paired with cool mint brings a layered, complex flavor to this sophisticated drink. Perfect for late summer nights on the patio, snacking on a cheese board, and playing board games with friends!

Ingredients: 

To roast your blackberries, preheat the oven to 350°F and combine the berries, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a bowl, coating the berries. Spread them across a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 10–12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Once the berries have cooled to room temperature, muddle them in a glass with 1 tbsp of lemon and 8 mint leaves. Don’t try to completely pulverize all the berry chunks—just 5 or 6 twists with the wooden spoon should suffice. Add ice, soda, and rum, then stir with a small spoon. Garnish with any combination of blackberries, mint leaves, and lemon slices on a toothpick! 

kaw valley greenhouse fresh herb summer drinks lemon basil.pngGin Basil Smash

For a perfectly crisp drink to cool you off on a sunny July afternoon, mix up a round of gin basil smashes. This herb-infused version uses loads of fresh basil—the recipe calls for 12 leaves per glass, but honestly, you could add more if you want. The savory, complex flavor and aroma have a natural cooling effect, and it goes down so smooth when paired with fresh lemon and lime!

Ingredients: 

Muddle the basil and sugar in the bottom of the glass. Add lemon, lime, gin, and ice, and stir. If you want, you can add extra sugar and top it off with some sparkling water for a little fizz, but traditionalists prefer it in a short tumbler.

Lavender Rosé Lemonade

What better way to kick back and relax than with a round of lavender-infused cocktails? This soothing, aromatic herb tastes just as wonderful as it smells, with a delicate flavor that pairs beautifully with citrus. Prepare a lavender simple syrup using the instructions listed above to create this luxurious-ye-refreshing summer drink!  

kaw valley greenhouse fresh herb summer drinks lavender rose lemonade.pngIngredients:

Pour lemon juice, simple syrup, and sparkling water in a tall cocktail glass over ice, and stir with a small spoon. Top with sparkling rosé and serve with a fresh sprig of lavender and a reusable metal straw! 

Want to start growing your own amazing herb garden at home? We have all of these delicious cocktail herbs available at Kaw Valley, plus many others like lemon balm, chocolate mint, oregano, cilantro, thyme, and sage. You can even try growing them indoors if you have a sunny spot by the window! Visit a Kaw Valley Greenhouses location and we’ll be happy to help get you started on starting your own home herb garden. In the meantime, better start brushing up on those bartending skills!

 

 
 

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