At their best, a lovely herbal, fruity or floral garnish will add perfume, flavour and a dash of wow-factor to your Craft Gin Club cocktails.
Grow and pick your own garnishes at home and not only will you get the freshest flavours and brightest colours, you’ll also get a true sense of achievement (and major bragging rights when your friends come over). Here’s how to grow your own cocktail garnish, whatever space you have available at home!
What do I plant? Soft herbs like basil and parsley do well on an outside sill in well-draining pots through the summer, but they need to be inside for the winter months.
How do I care for them? These herbs love to be watered regularly, but basil doesn’t like to be damp overnight, so watering it in the morning is best. It is also good to pinch off and discard any flower buds that may appear, so the leaves can grow nice and bushy!
What cocktail can I use them for? Basil is a great friend of gin! Try it in your usual G&T or check out any of these refreshing cocktail recipes to use for your home-grown basil.
What do I plant? Chillies are also great for the window sill, but they do prefer to be indoors.
How do I care for them? Chilli plants need lots of light and to be watered regularly, especially when it’s hot outside. Aphids can be a problem for chillies, but they can be stopped by spraying the plant with a drop of dish soap dissolved in water.
What cocktail can I use them for? This chilli and lime gin and tonic makes for a zingy, refreshing cocktail - ideal as a complement to a summer Thai salad.
What do I plant? If you do have a garden to play with, evergreen herbs like rosemary, thyme and lavender will do great out there.
How do I care for them? These herbs are just as happy in a plant pot as a flower bed, so long as the soil is well draining – they hate soggy roots. The only other thing to remember is to trim them after flowering. Does it get easier than that?
What cocktail can I use them for? We love the honey and lavender notes of a Bee’s Knees cocktail, perfect with a sprig of lavender or lavender ice cubes to garnish!
What do I plant? Mint also does well in the garden, especially as it likes plenty of water.
How do I care for them? Mint will spread if given the chance, so unless you want your flower beds filling up with the stuff, it would be best to plant it in a spacious pot instead.
What cocktail can I use them for? Another classic herbal garnish for any number of cocktails, mint can be put to excellent use by gin-lovers in particular. Take a look at some of these cocktail recipes for inspiration on how to use your mint garnish.
What do I plant? Raspberries are a great way to take advantage of the extra space allotments offer.
How do I care for them? They need a sunny spot and like to be watered regularly in soil that drains well. You will need to construct a wire fence to help them grow up straight, but they are well worth the effort!
What cocktail can I use them for? Your own pink raspberry gin, of course! And it couldn’t be easier to make - check out our video recipe and get growing!
POTS, PATIOS & GREENHOUSES
What do I plant? If you also have a greenhouse or very warm, sheltered patio or balcony, then small lemon trees would do very well in a nice pot, so long as they’re given citrus plant feed regularly and lots of water in the summer.
How do I care for them? Be careful in winter - in colder seasons it’s best to wait for the top soil to dry out between watering. They also like humidity, so sitting the pot on gravel, on a tray that has been filled with water to the top of the gravel, is a great way to achieve an ideal environment for them.
What cocktail can I use them for? Well, any G&T-lover is set for life with their own lemon tree! But for something a little more adventurous, why not try this yummy lemon verbena gimlet?