If you have a fragrant summer bounty of herbs from your kitchen garden or are just driven to try devilishly delicious recipes with secret ingredients to keep your guests guessing, then 'its past time to buff your manicured nails and try these one-of-a-kind ways to elevate cocktails with a hint of herbs for that extra something-something.
Herbs add a flavour dimension that sets the taste buds to attention, leaving you curiously questioning the pleasantly unfamiliar flavour. Be a domestic goddess with these cocktail concoctions that bring alive the senses!
Sagely Suave Sangria
Image credit: Santa Barbara Chic
Tired of serving the same yawn-inducing sangria pitcher at all your parties? Add some sparkle with this punchy, fizzy sage guava sangria.
2-4 sage leaves (sage is a potent herb so a little goes a long way)
A bottle of white wine
1/2 cup each of pureed guava, pear juice and cranberry juice.
Mix them together and let the blend steep overnight in the refrigerator. Come party hour, serve over ice with thin orange slices and sage leaves as a garnish, and top off with sparkling wine for a last-minute flourish!
Image credit: The Kitchen Prep
A few sprigs of woody-piney rosemary highlight a pitcher of regular spiked lemonade with the enchanting scent of the forest. Steep rosemary in lemonade spiked with gin to make this gorgeous beverage. It's a simple, straightforward crowd-pleaser that's low on kitchen time and still high on the wow factor. Serve garnished with sliced lemon and a rosemary sprig to use as a stirrer.
Tip: You can also use thyme instead of rosemary.
Minty-Minded Pomegranate Mojito
Image credit: Beauty Heaven
Mint leaves and lemon juice
Put these ingredients in a jar and shake, shake shake! Serve in a tumbler poured over crushed ice, garnished with ruby red pomegranate seeds, a fresh, vibrantly green sprig of mint and a wedge of acerbic green lime for a stark colour contrast; and top it off with club soda for a splash of bubbly fun.
Siren's Thai Basil Champagne
Basil, which gives this elegant and simple champagne cocktail a very subtle yet special savoury twist. In a champagne tulip, add sweet cubes of pineapple and simple sugar syrup infused with Thai basil, and top off with a dry champagne and add a twig from the basil as a stirrer. Thai basil has a pronounced anise or liquorice flavour, so give it a minute and the flavour will mildly infuse your pineapple-flavoured bubbly.
Image credit: Food and Wine
An ode to a lovely lady in lavender, the soothing herb translates to this tantalising, summery drink. Evoke a valley of flowers by mixing together grapefruit juice, lavender essence and grenadine. Serve in tall frosted glasses over ice topped off with club soda. Don't forget to garnish with a poised frond of flowering lavender!
Basil Blushes Gimlet
Image credit: Drink Hacker
4-6 Purple basil
Shot of gin
Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice cubes, strain into a shapely stemmed glass and garnish with pretty purple basil leaves left floating in the drink. This one's perfect for a hen party or a classy girls' night in!
Lemongrassy Watermelon Wonder
This artfully tasty cocktail is a medley of fresh, light flavours underlined with the light citrusy heat of lemongrass for an Asian spin on a tequila cocktail.
Fresh watermelon juice
A dash of lemon juice
Muddle chopped lemongrass in a shaker, add tequila, fresh watermelon juice and a dash of lemon, strain and top off with soda. Serve in a glass with a chilli-salt rim garnished with lemongrass spikes and a watermelon wedge. Drink up!
Image credit: One Hope Weddings
Nothing quite like an iced tea on a hot summer's day, right?
English breakfast tea
Apple, sliced thin
For a different spin on an iced tea cocktail, brew a fresh batch of fragrantly rejuvenating English Breakfast tea with added sprigs of thyme, then chill and add equal parts clear apple juice. Pour into balloon glasses and spike each with a shot of your favourite whisky for an indulgent summer scented liquid hit! Before you serve, garnish with apple wheels and sprigs of thyme.
How to prepare sugar syrup: Simple sugar syrup is one part water to one part sugar, boiled together till sugar dissolves, it's that simple! When infused syrup is called for, the herb or flavour agent to infuse the syrup is added during the heating process and the final syrup is strained and allowed to cool before using it in a cocktail. Enjoy!
If you've already had many colourful adventures with trying unusual, new cocktails, do share your favourite recipe. Or did you try a cocktail that bombed spectacularly? Either way, we'd like to raise a toast to it, so comment away!