In the heat of summer, there’s nothing quite like a good garden party, or a festive summer drink to serve alongside whatever wonderful seasonal produce you have on the menu.
As an herbalist and fizzy drink aficionado, I like to infuse cocktails (and mocktails) with whatever I find, either at my local farmer’s market or growing on my doorstep. Here are three recipes to experiment with. Let them (and your garden) inspire your own creations!
Herby Coconut Fizz:
While Maine is short of coconut palms, you can find coconut water in most grocery stores. Coconut, basil, and lime are cooling and spicy ginger inspires perspiration, which also helps cool the body after a summer day. This is the perfect mock/cocktail to see you through any humid nights.
- coconut water or whole coconut, if you can find one
- one lime
- knob of fresh ginger
- handful of basil leaves (any variety of basil works)
- fizzy water/club soda/seltzer
- bourbon or rum (optional)
- This makes two drinks. Pour two cups of coconut water into a blender (if you’re lucky enough to have a whole coconut, add some of the flesh, too). Juice your lime, strain, and add. Grate your ginger and add (do this to taste). Blend. Sample. Coconut water is quite sweet, but sweeten if needed—I find maple syrup to be a wonderful addition.
- Muddle a few slices of lime, a few basil leaves, and a spoonful of sugar (optional) in two glasses. Divide coconut drink between them. Top with fizzy water or seltzer.
- If using, add an ounce of your favorite brown liquor.
- Garnish with a slice of lime and sprig of basil.
I love hibiscus. It’s incredibly cooling for the body and refreshing for the spirit. Packed with vitamin C, it’s also good for you. Pair this with ginger, lime, and cooling mint and you have a beverage that will delight partygoers of absolutely every age.
- one tablespoon sugar
- ¼ cup water
- slices of fresh ginger
- ¼ cup dried hibiscus or 4 teabags
- one lime
- handful of mint leaves (any variety)
- seltzer or ginger ale
- crushed ice for serving
- tequila, mescal, or gin (optional)
- Heat the water and add sugar, stirring until it dissolves. Add hibiscus flowers/teabags and ginger slices (to taste). Remove from heat, cover, and steep ten minutes. Strain.
- In two glasses, muddle lime slices and mint leaves (to taste). Pour cooled hibiscus simple syrup over the muddle. Add crushed ice and top with fizzy beverage of choice.
- For an ombré effect, you can top this off with a dash of orange juice—so pretty!
- If using, add one ounce tequila, mescal, or gin to each drink.
- Garnish with a sprig of mint and slice of lime.
Sage and Grapefruit Seltzer
Grapefruit is cooling and refreshing. Sage helps to regulate body temperature, making you more comfortable, while also adding an herby base note that pairs with the bittersweet grapefruit perfectly.
- One grapefruit—fruit, juice, and zest—nothing goes to waste!
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup sugar
- few sage leaves (fresh, not dried)
- fizzy beverage of choice
- vodka (optional)
- Dissolve sugar in water to make a simple syrup. Juice your grapefruit and strain, combine with syrup. (You can, of course, use bottled grapefruit juice. If it’s pre-sweetened, then skip making the simple syrup.)
- Add a couple of sage leaves and strips of grapefruit zest to the warm mixture and steep about seven minutes.
- Strain into two glasses. Add ice and top with fizz of choice.
- Add one ounce vodka, if using.
- Garnish with fresh slices of grapefruit, a twist of zest, and a sage leaf.
There you have it! Inspiration for your next garden party. These base recipes (minus the herbs) were inspired by the brilliant creators at Food52. Have your own spin? Sage and Pina Coladas? Basil Strawberry Daiquiris? Orange-ginger margaritas? We’d love to hear it!
Enjoy the summer evenings!