Herbal Harvest: Infusing Cocktails with Homegrown Herbs

Whether you muddle, macerate, or mix, the fresh herbs you grow in your kitchen garden (or indoors in pots) can be an essential and delicious addition to your home-bartender cocktail line up.


Basil Cocktail


Easy to grow in a sunny spot, basil is a Caprese salad essential herb sure, but deserves a spot in your cocktail glass too. Basil and freshly squeezed lime juice smooshed together in your shaker with a splash of simple syrup and sparkling water make a refreshing 0% alcohol drink or add a shot of gin before straining into a glass. Or Thai basil is a nice, spicy option to grow and is gorgeous with ginger. Make your own flavour infused vodka by adding slices of fresh ginger and whole basil leaves to a bottle, seal up and let nature pull the flavours together for a few days before using.


Rosemary Cocktail, Photo Credit: Gaby Yerden


Also a sun worshipping herb, rosemary is richly fragrant and a little goes a long way as a garnish in a whisky sour. Twirl a stem around in the glass once you’ve poured and like magic the rosemary elevates a classic whisky sour cocktail into something from your own garden of earthly delights. Try it in a gin and tonic too, and definitely keep the lime squeeze, the two flavours mingle beautifully.


Thyme Cocktail, Photo Credit: Brooke Lark


I like classic French thyme in cocktails, but this season have been experimenting with lemon thyme as well, which is a bit citrusy and with all the fantastic quality lemon gins on the market pairing this herb with them seems like a no brainer.  Try thyme leaves muddled with blood oranges, then strained into a glass with gin or vodka and a splash of prosecco. Edible rose petals make a nice garnish.


Mojito, Photo Credit: Mae Mu


What’s a Mojito without fresh mint? Thing about mint is, it will take over your garden, so I always suggest growing it in its own pot with lots of drainage. A classic Mojito requires you muddle mint with fresh lime juice, and a splash of simple syrup in a tall glass, then add rum, lots of ice and sparkling water. Fresh mint added to a frosty jug of iced tea is always fancy, or even just in your glass of drinking water.



Easy to grow, and so lovely in cocktails. To naysayers who think this edible floral will taste too much like Grandma’s soap dish; stay with me here. Lavender belongs to the same herb family as our friends mint, rosemary and thyme. Try mixing up this Empress Lavender Lemonade from our friends at Empress 1908 Gin, perfectly refreshing on a sizzling summer day. Recipe below:




2 oz Empress 1908 Gin

1 oz *Lavender Honey Syrup

2 oz Lemonade

Lavender Sprig




Fill a glass with crushed ice.

Mix lemonade, ice and syrup in a shaker, then strain into prepared glass.

Layer Empress 1908 Gin on top of the lemonade/syrup, then add more crushed ice.

Garnish with lavender sprig.



*Recipe for Lavender Honey Syrup:

Heat ½ c honey and ½ c water in a saucepan over medium heat.

Stir until dissolved.

Remove from heat. Add 2 stems of lavender.

Allow to cool, remove lavender and decant into a container.

Keep refrigerated.


Did you know?

To get the most out of your herbs, snip them in the morning for maximum flavour. Use them fresh in cocktails of course, but you can dry and store herbs easily by hanging them in bundles or spread on a screen so lots of air can circulate around them. Once dried, toss them in a clean glass jar with a lid, and use during happy hour. Cheers!