Shiso. Lemon Verbena. Rosemary. Cilantro. Dill. Whether they're muddled, infused, or simply snipped for a pretty and fragrant garnish, fresh herbs make a wonderful addition to summer cocktails. Here are 20 herbal (and boozy) drink recipes we love: Mint Cool, astringent, and ever so slightly sweet, mint plays up the luscious flavors of fruit and complements the rich warmth of alcohol. No wonder it's such a summer cocktail staple.
- Mint Julep: The ultimate mint cocktail. Bourbon, sugar, fresh mint leaves, and crushed ice.
- Peach Whiskey Smash: Bourbon, mint, fresh peach slices, simple syrup, water. Like a mint julep with fruit (see pic below).
- Pimm's Cup: The herbal-flavored, gin-based liqueur, Pimm's topped up with ginger ale, 7UP, or sparkling lemonade, and generously garnished with fresh fruits, vegetables - and mint. (If you're lucky enough to have access to fresh borage, slip in a leaf of that too!)
- Pimm's Italiano with Mint Lemon Fernet-Branca: Pimm's, Fernet-Branca, mint, cucumber, lemon, topped up with ginger ale. The addition of the bitter herbal liqueur, Fernet-Branca, takes the old classic in a new direction.
- Lillet Sin: Lillet Blanc, mint, lime, fresh ginger root, and club soda. Nothing so sinful about that, is there?
- The Cuke: Gin or vodka, mint, cucumber, lime, sugar, club soda.
- Watermelon Mojito: Rum, mint, watermelon, lime juice, simple syrup. A tall cool cocktail from the NYC Indian restaurant, Tabla.
- Leninade: Citrus vodka, mint, lemon juice, grenadine, simple syrup, Sprite. A Russian-inspired take on lemonade from the NYC vodka bar, Pravda.
Basil Savory-sweet with a peppery edge, basil's been turning up in many garden-inspired cocktails lately.
- Pineapple Basil Cocktail: Elizabeth's creation includes gin, basil, pineapple juice, lime, and club soda.
- Rhubarb Basil Cocktail: Another recipe from Elizabeth with vodka, basil, rhubarb, and club soda.
- Lillet Basil Cocktail: Gin, Lillet Blanc, basil, garnished with cucumber and cinnamon sticks.
- Strawberry Basil Lemonade: Strawberry vodka, sliced and pureed strawberries, basil, and lemonade.
- Corzo Lemon Basil Cocktail: Tequila, triple sec, lemon, basil, simple syrup, and club soda.
- Shiso-Yuzu Mojito: Citrus vodka, shiso, yuzu rind, sugar, lime, club soda.
- Iced Green Tea Mojito: White rum, shiso leaves, lime juice, sugar, green tea.
Lemon Verbena Delicate, citrusy, and floral. A natural for summer drinks.
- Lemon Verbena and Orange Blossom Fizz: Faith's creation, featuring homemade lemon verbena syrup, muddled lemon verbena leaves, orange flower water, club soda, and lemon (see pic above).
- Blackberry Herb Cocktail: Prosecco (or another sparkling white wine) mixed with a homemade syrup made from rosemary, blackberries, sugar, and water.
- Rosemary Ruby Cocktail: Vodka, grapefruit juice, and bitters mixed with a homemade rosemary syrup.
Cilantro Love it or hate it, cilantro has plenty of uses in the kitchen. How about a cocktail?
- Kachumber Cooler: Gin, cilantro, cucumber, chilies, lime juice, and simple syrup (see pic above). Spicy-cool.
- Gogol: A vodka Martini garnished with a pickled quail egg and a pickled frond of dill. A real head-turner.