Last year Mark and I successfully tried out our green thumb with a few tomato and pepper plants. This year we’re planning out our garden with a bit more purpose. Given the prolonged Chicago winter this year, we opted to start our seeds in doors. Not only are we planting tomatoes and peppers of all sorts – including jalapeños, habaneros, a few kinds of sweet peppers, and peperoncinis – but we are branching out to include cucumbers, two kinds of lettuce, and my favorite part, a cocktail herb garden!
As you can see, we’ll be harvesting rosemary, cilantro, basil, lemon balm, and lavender in a few short weeks (fingers crossed!). I looked long and hard and couldn’t find organic mint seeds so I’ll be picking up an already-growing seedling in a few weeks to add to the mix.
Unlike the bigger vegetables, we’ll be planting these herbs in smaller troughs that once we stop getting overnight frost, we’ll be keeping on our back porch – both for convenience and to make sure our resident backyard bunny, Charles, doesn’t chow down on the fruits of our labor.
You may be wondering what types of drinks these herbs can be used in – I’ve included a list of cocktail ideas that I’ll be trying out this summer below.
- A Fresh Start Cocktail – Grapefruit and Rosemary
- Pear, Lemongrass, and Rosemary Cocktail
- Ophelia Cocktail – Gin, Rosemary Simple Syrup & Lemon Juice
Lemon Balm Cocktails
Don’t they sound delicious? We’ll also be trying our hand at making our own herb-infused simple syrups .
Do you have any ideas of what other libations we can use our cocktail garden herbs for?