Making Summer Cocktails with Garden Herbs

Nothing beats a warm summer evening sipping cocktails and enjoying conversation with your favorite people. Add an extra layer of personalization and flavor by using fresh cut herbs from your garden in classic cocktails. Some herbs are best when added fresh — and others work best when steeped into a simple syrup. Both methods are easy and are sure to impress.

Making Simple Syrup


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 6” sprigs of rosemary OR 4-5 flower stems of lavender

Mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar, bring to boil over medium heat. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved and the water looks clear. Add your rosemary or lavender and remove from heat. Allow to steep for 30 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a glass jar and store for up to one month.

Rosemary Bourbon Sour
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ oz rosemary simple syrup
  • Rosemary sprig and lemon slice for garnish

Shake the bourbon, lemon juice, and rosemary simple syrup with ice. Pour over fresh ice and garnish with a slice of lemon and sprig of rosemary.

Fleur 75
  • ¾ oz Empress 1908 gin
  • ½ oz lavender simple syrup
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice
  • 6 oz sparkling wine

While this drink will taste delicious with any gin, the beautiful color comes from Empress 1908 Gin. An infusion of butterfly pea blossoms gives the gin its distinctive indigo hue and color shift. You’ll see the color change from indigo to lavender when you add the lemon juice to the cocktail.

Make sure your gin and sparkling wine are cold. Add the gin and simple syrup to the glass. Squeeze in fresh lemon juice and top with sparkling wine.

Basil Paloma
  • 2 oz grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz tequila blanco
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves
  • Club soda
  • Grapefruit slice for garnish

Pour the grapefruit juice, lime juice, and tequila over ice with torn basil leaves. Top with club soda and garnish with a slice of grapefruit. This is also delicious as a mocktail – just leave out the tequila and add more grapefruit juice to the glass.

Try one of these cocktails at your next gathering, or have a apropos beverage while gardening next Sunday afternoon.