Herbal Cocktails & Mocktails

by Aisling Badger June 17, 2020

The summer season is upon us, and while we are still coming to terms with the fact that it will look a bit different this year, we are also looking forward to spending more time in our backyards and getting creative in our summer kitchens.

I am a big fan of herbal mocktails and cocktails. After a long day, either working or spent in the sun, relaxing with a refreshing libation is just the thing to set me into summer slowdown mode. Drinks also happen to be a great way to get herbs and nutrients into you. I love using aromatic herbs like lemon balm or rose because they have a subtle yet noticeable effect on the nervous system. A tulsi or lemon verbena margarita with or without tequila is just what I am craving when feeling a little frazzled from a workday. On hot days you can keep it cool with energetically cooling plants like mint or hibiscus.*

rhubarb-joy-tonic

My secret to making these easy is to make simple syrups beforehand, infused with my favorite summer flavors like mint, lemon verbena, tulsi, peaches, and raspberries. They store easily in the fridge for a couple of weeks, and then you can enjoy over ice topped with sparkling water for a mocktail, or if I am in the mood, I'll add a bit of liquor for a refreshing summer cocktail. 

The best part is playing around with the summer flavors available to you. Seeing what fruit pairs best with the herbs in your backyard and going from there. The possibilities are endless when it comes to adding herbs into summertime drinks that are perfect for these hot days.

We encourage you to get creative with pairings, but if you need a bit of inspiration, here are a few favorites:

 

Simple syrups with herbs and fruit

rhubarb
Rhubarb Syrup

This ratio can be used for any fruit and herbal syrup.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except the lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice. Remove from heat. Let the mixture steep for 30 minutes. Strain and let stand at room temperature until cool. Transfer into clean bottle with cap. Syrup will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

mint
Herbal Simple Syrups

For easy syrups, I make a tea concentrate with dried herbs or teabags.

  • ¼ cup herbs, or 5-6 tea bags
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 Tbsp raw honey, or more depending on your sweetness preference.

Directions:

Pour boiling hot water over the tea bags or herbs and honey. Stir and let cool, strain or discard the tea bags and bottle for later use. Transfer into clean bottle with cap . This syrup can stay in the fridge for up 3 weeks, and you can use it over time.

 

fruit

Fresh Fruit Juice
  • 1 cup fresh chopped fruit
  • ½ cup water
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey- optional

Directions: Add the fresh fruit to a blender with the water and blend on high. then straining it through a nut bag or mesh strainer, discarding the fibrous matter. Keep the juice for drinking.

 

Cocktails + Mocktails

Rhubarb Rosehip Sparkler

Makes 1

  • 2 Tbsp Rhubarb syrup
  • 1 cup Sparkling water
  • 1 Tsp Joy Tonic
  • Ice
  • Optional: 1-ounce Gin

Combine everything in a glass over ice, stir well and garnish with desired toppings: fruit, flowers, or citrus.

 rose kombucha sparkler

 

bitters lemonade

Bitter Lemonade

A refreshing digestive soothing and detoxing drink.*

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ tsp Original Digestive Bitters
  • Ice

Combine everything but the ice into a mason jar and shake vigorously. Pour over ice and enjoy.

 

Rose Kombucha Sparklers

Makes 2

  • 16 oz Kombucha, we used rose flavored.
  • 2 tsp Rose Water
  • ½ tsp Original Digestive Bitters
  • Ice
  • (optional: Tequila, but it tastes great as a cocktail!)

Split ingredients between two glasses over ice in a glass, garnish with edible flowers or citrus and drink in good company.

rose kombucha sparklers

 

tropical-fruit

Sun Rays

Makes 2

Tropical, bright and perfect for sipping in the sunshine or the hammock.

  • 1 cup fresh juice from Mango and Pineapple
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp Citrus Digestive bitters
  • 2 oz Gin
  • Citrus to Garnish
  • Ice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into two glasses and enjoy!

 sun ray cocktail

 

lime-hibiscus

Watermelon Hibiscus Margarita

Makes 2

A summery twist to an herbal margarita

  • 1/2 cup hibiscus tea concentrate
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • ½ cup Watermelon juice
  • 4 Tbsp Lime juice
  • 2 oz Tequila
  • Ice 

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into two glasses and enjoy!

For an alcohol-free option, top off each glass with sparkling water.

 watermelon margarita

If you want to grow a bunch flowers for garnishing summer meals and drinks, check out our Guide to Edible flowers. They take an ordinary dish or drink, and enhance it with beauty, subtle flavors, and the pure joy of colors and flowers.  We use them in salads, iced teas, cocktails and mocktails, and chilled wine. They are the perfect garnish on top of smoothies, on cakes, dips, and anything else we can think of that needs a little spark of beauty. 

Aisling Badger
Aisling Badger


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