Herbal Cocktail Secrets
Grow a cocktail garden right outside your door and be prepared for lots of fun and amazing scents all season long. Part of growing useful organic gardens is finding creative ways to use the bounty of the harvest. Herb and edible flower gardens are an easy way to grow foods that can enhance a beverage with a lot of flavor without adding a lot of artificial ingredients. Better for your health and for your taste buds, growing your own herbal garden living wall is fairly simple.
Fundamentally, creating an herbal cocktail is not just for alcoholic beverage preparation. I like to call a refreshing herb-enhanced non-alcoholic culinary treat an Herbal Sip. On a hot summer’s day there’s nothing better than muddling strawberries and fresh mint together then pouring ice cold lemonade over the top of the muddle for an astounding flavor burst.
Ice cold water can be flavored in a similar way by smooshing herbs, or muddling, then pouring the cold water over the herbs and straining the mixture before drinking; the secret is in the muddle.
A muddler is a wooden, plastic, or metal pestle that is an essential tool used in bartending.
Use the fat side for mashing and muddling, and the thinner side of the muddler as a stirring tool. Simply put, muddling is a way of releasing the oils and flavors within herbs and fruits in order to capture a stronger flavor when sipping a beverage.
Picking the herbs and muddling them to enhance a cocktail’s flavor is the easiest way to add flavor to a cocktail. However, sometimes kicking it up a notch by macerating vodka, gin, or another liquor with herbs, berries, and flowers can infuse the flavors in a stronger, more condensed way.
Infusing means to soak or steep an ingredient with a spirit in order to extract the dominate flavor of the item being infused.
Vodka is frequently used as a part of the infusion process because it has a relatively neutral flavor which allows the infused herb flavor to stand out more clearly. Better liquor creates a better infusion. Be sure, for instance, to use 80 proof alcohol or above, preferably 100 proof for an infused liquor.
Tips for a Living Wall Cocktail Garden
Herbs and edible flowers are a breeze to plant and upkeep utilizing a living wall system. Most herbs prefer full sun, but they can survive alright in partial sun or partial shade. Herbs and edible flowers are also uniquely beautiful. Plant a wall garden utilizing a homemade or purchased living wall unit.
Add Shawna Coronado’s secret soil mix to the container – 1/3 organic potting soil, 1/3 rotted manure, 1/3 compost. Plant your herb plants or seeds. Water gently with a watering wand or watering can. Harvest herbs the first time when the plants have reached maturity. Only harvest one third of the plant at any given time, then wait for that third to grow back before you harvest again.
This revolving method of harvesting and patience will enable a longer lived vertical wall without having to replace plants as frequently.
To learn more about growing and building your own organic small space living wall cocktail garden, get Shawna Coronado’s latest book, Grow a Living Wall: Create Vertical Gardens with Purpose, published by Cool Springs Press. Find Shawna atwww.shawnacoronado.com.
Herbal Cocktail Recipes:
See it being made: https://youtu.be/vPZXoer1BDw
Lemon Thyme Herbal Martini Recipe
- Muddled Lemon Thyme — Handful
- Citron Vodka — 2 oz.
- Superfine sugar — 1 teaspoon
- 1 oz triple sec
- 1 oz lemon juice
Throw all the ingredients in a shaker. Shake well. Strain ice and thyme out as you pour into a sugar-rimmed martini glass