Now that the weather is heating up, it’s time to use that garden you planted this past spring. The herbs, berries, and other fruits that you are growing are not only great to combine in a summer salad or dessert, they are also perfect for summer garden-inspired cocktails. Make sitting out on the porch even more relaxing with a cold glass of your garden’s most tasty and refreshing rewards. We have put together 3 of our favorite cocktails from some of Hampton Road’s most popular plants of the season.
3. Minty Coconut Mojitos
One of the best summer flavor pairings ever is coconut and mint. Mint is very easy to grow in the Hampton Roads area- just find a sunny spot, water often, and watch your plant flourish with ease. Check out how you can grow mint and many other herbs through Mike, the Garden Guru’s video here.
Put your overflowing windowsill, full of mint, to good use with this easy-to-follow mojito recipe:
- 1 ½ oz of your choice of white, silver, or coconut rum
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 1 oz of simple syrup
- ¼ cup of cream of coconut
- soda water (to top it off)
- As much mint as you like (we like a lot, at least 2 healthy sprigs per drink)
Start by muddling your mint into the glass with your simple syrup. Add in your ice as well as mint leaves along the sides of the glass (this is for looks as well as taste). Pour in your choice of rum, lime juice, and cream of coconut. Top with soda water and stir to combine. Add in a sprig of mint and/or sliced lime garnish to finish off your fresh and fabulous garden drink.
2. Fresh-Picked Strawberry Margarita
Your ever-bearing strawberries are now ready for the picking! It’s time to make something a little different than a strawberry shortcake with your homegrown berries. Try this fresh strawberry margarita with a touch of basil from your garden for a new twist on a famed beverage.
Start with the ingredients:
- 2 oz of your choice of white tequila
- 1 oz of your choice of orange liquor
- At least 1 cup of fresh strawberries (sliced, grab some more for garnishing later)
- ¼ cup of Lime Juice
- 1 lime (for garnish)
- 1 tsp of granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp of agave nectar
- At least 3 sprigs from your basil plant (or as much as you want)
Prep your glass rims with one of your lime wedge garnishes and granulated sugar. Fill the glass with ice and then prep the drink separately. In a cocktail shaker, add your strawberries, lime juice, and nectar together. Muddle this combination until the strawberries are mostly liquified. Add in the basil and muddle a few times until bruised. Then add the tequila and orange liquor. Fill the rest of the shaker with ice and shake vigorously until the shaker feels very cold. Pour the mixture from the shaker to the prepped cocktail glass, garnish with strawberry wedges and a basil sprig for a gorgeous and delicious treat.
1. The Summer Brunch Lemosa
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, or something even better! Growing lemons, as well as other citrus plants, is a highlight of spring and summer edible gardening. The best part about growing citrus is that you can do so all year round. In the Hampton Roads area, the weather can get a bit chilly for these plants in the winter, so they need to be brought inside as houseplants during that time. But in the summer, they love to be out in full sun, producing fruits! Enjoy a whole new look at brunch with these lemosas:
- 1 bottle of your favorite champagne or prosecco
- 2 cups of hand-squeezed lemonade
- ½ cup of simple syrup
- 1 lemon (zest only)
- A lemon peel (for garnish)
Combine simple syrup and desired amount of lemon zest in a pan. While stirring occasionally, heat until bubbling and then set aside. Once cooled for 10 minutes, strain out lemon zest into a clean container and set aside lemon-infused simple syrup until completely cool. Place desired amount of syrup at the bottom of your glass, then add lemonade, top with champagne or prosecco, and then add your garnish for a zesty touch.
We hope you enjoy these refreshing summer beverages this season. Give us a shout-out on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok if you make one of these drinks and want to share it with us! See our sales page to keep up to date on what’s new and check out the Garden Guru and his webinars with new plants, products, and expert planting advice.