These days, mixologists are using herbs to give their cocktails more of a kick. Even though it’s a current trend, using herbs in alcoholic beverages is nothing new. Gin, for example, is made with a combination of juniper berries and other herbs, creating a very distinct flavor. These popular herbal cocktail recipes highlight the herbs without overpowering the rest of the flavors:
A mojito just wouldn’t be the same without fresh mint! In a tall cocktail glass, add 10 fresh mint leaves, 2 tablespoons fine granulated sugar, and one lime wedge. Using a muddler, crush everything together. Fill the glass halfway with ice cubes and pour in 1 ½ ounces of white rum. Top with club soda and a squeeze of lime. Stir, and garnish with another lime wedge. You can substitute 3 tablespoons of sugar syrup for of the granulated sugar if you have it on hand.
A staple at weekend brunches, this drink mixes herbs, vegetables, tomato juice, and vodka to create a cocktail that actually seems reasonably healthy. Add 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh herbs such as parsley and dill to the bottom of a cocktail glass and muddle thoroughly. Fill a cocktail glass halfway with ice. Add 3 ounces of tomato juice, the juice of 1 lemon, ½-1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce (depending on your spice preference), a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, and 1 ½ ounces of vodka. Stir thoroughly and garnish with a celery stick and lemon wedge.
Sloe Gin Fizz
The Sloe Gin Fizz balances the herbal flavor of gin with just enough sweetness to make the drink interesting. You can choose any gin that you want, but to make it authentically, use Sloe Gin, which is made with sloe berries (blackthorn berries) instead of juniper berries. However, if you only have juniper gin on hand (which is most common in London style gins), the cocktail will still taste great! In a cocktail shaker that’s half-filled with ice, add 2 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons sugar and shake until well combined. Fill a small cocktail glass halfway with ice, add the cocktail mixture, and top with club soda. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Did you know that a classic Julep cocktail can be made with any herb you desire? Mint juleps are by far the most popular, but they can also be made with aromatic herbs such as basil and sage. Follow the basic recipe, and then mix and match the herbs according to what you have on hand. It’s the recipe for the perfect herbal cocktail! Muddle 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs in a small cocktail glass with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Fill the glass halfway with ice, add 1 ½ ounces of bourbon and stir. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.