Cocktails are always a crowd-pleaser. Whether you and your friends are hitting the town or plan to create an at-home cocktail party of your own, these drinks are perfect for bringing a variety of flavours to your evening.
When you fancy a cocktail, it’s tempting to have a professional prepare it. They have all of the skills, knowledge, and, most importantly, ingredients at the ready to craft a delicious and visually stunning drink.
Putting those effortless finishing touches on a cocktail can seem daunting, but it is much easier to prepare when you have the right garnish and your favourite spirits at your fingertips, whether that is your favourite gin or a high quality tequila, there is a cocktail to suit all tastes. In fact, a simple way of ensuring that you have everything you need is to grow some garnishes in your own home.
Here, we’ll discuss the popular garnishes you can grow as much as you need them, as well as the refreshing cocktails that you can serve them alongside.
Bramble – blackberries
The bramble is a cocktail classic, and its name evokes images of its countryside origins. Sweet, citrusy, and endlessly refreshing, this drink is a favourite for many – especially during the summer months.
If you’re familiar with the bramble (or maybe you’re a certified fanatic), you’ll know that its signature fruity taste comes from a liberal shot of blackberry liqueur added to the gin base. To honour this ingredient, the cocktail is often seen garnished with a range of fruits.
All you need to grow some blackberries at home is enough room in your garden to accommodate a small blackberry shrub. When blackberry season starts in the latter half of the summer, you can be ready to serve brambles in style with berries plucked from your own vines.
The recipe for this fruity delight can be found here.
Mojito – mint
For a crisp, sharp taste, few cocktails hit the spot quite as well as a mojito. Above all else, this drink is defined by the powerful taste of mint that cuts through the flavour of the white rum. Unsurprisingly, if you’re going to create a mojito of your own, you will need to have a decent supply of mint on hand.
Once mint is cut from the stem, it can quickly wilt, so it’s a good idea to have your own plants to pick from. While you can grow mint outside, this herb can just as easily be grown indoors too. Whether you grow mint in a pot of soil or a recycled water bottle, you just need some water, proper drainage, and a little patience. You’ll see mint sprouting from the soil soon enough.
If you fancy a mojito but don’t fancy the alcohol, you can find a mocktail recipe here.
The garden party – lavender (rose lemonade)
Lavender is a brilliant choice of flower to grow in your home since it has been proven to have some pretty nifty benefits. Not only will it provide your home with a wonderful fragrance, but research has also shown that the mere scent of lavender can help to reduce levels of anxiety. Before you even put it into a cocktail, lavender will do you some good.
To include lavender in your cocktail choices, the garden party is the perfect drink. This flowery drink pairs vodka with a range of tantalising floral flavours, mixing lavender with elderflower and rose. If you fancy filling your drink with an extra helping of fizz, mix vodka and dried lavender with rose lemonade or elderflower.
If you’re hoping to host a garden party of your own with this cocktail, details of the recipe are here.
Floral gin lemonade – pansies (lemonade)
One of the most beautiful garnishes you can choose for a cocktail is one that looks just as beautiful in your garden or hung in a planter. Bright, vibrant flowers, such as pansies, are a wonderful way to inject a fresh colour palette into your drink as they’re edible too.
With such a grand garnish, they can bring out the best in even the simplest cocktail recipes. Choosing a classic combination, such as a pairing of your favourite gins and gin mixers, is as complicated as you need to get with this garnish.
A soft, floral gin mixed with an airy lemonade will be served perfectly by a delicate garnish of pansies.
For details on making your own, look here.
Lemon and rosemary bourbon sour – rosemary
Rosemary is endlessly useful – when it isn’t being used to elevate your dishes, this herb can work beautifully in cocktails too. Plus, rosemary is a herb that can be grown with relative ease.
The bourbon sour is a classic cocktail, familiar to many. Having said that, even the greatest recipes deserve embellishment every now and then. Though it is traditionally infused with a zesty orange peel, lemon juice will really emphasise the sour in your bourbon sour. With the aromatic garnish of rosemary on the side, this cocktail is the perfect choice for a civilised winter cocktail event.
Find the recipe for this twist on the classic here.
A garnish is the final touch of a cocktail that unifies the entire drink. However, by taking some time in advance to prepare your garnishes in your own home, you can ensure that your cocktails will look picture perfect all year round.