If you enjoy a delicious cocktail now and then, you may want to start your own cocktail garden. That way, if you need cilantro, strawberries, mint, or another ingredient for a cocktail recipe, you'll have it right at your fingertips. Check out some growing tips for your burgeoning cocktail garden.
Mint: Grow your mint in well-drained soil in an area with partial shade. Get mint plants at the farmers' market and plant them approximately two feet apart. Mint plants can grow to be two feet tall, so they need a lot of room to spread. If there is a dry period, give your mint plants some water. You can use mint in an old maid, a Ginger Rogers, and, of course, a mint julep. I like the idea of growing mint because it can be used in all types of drinks, even a refreshing lemonade!
Sage: Get your sage plants at the farmers' market and find a space for them in your cocktail garden that gets full sunlight. They are drought-tolerant so water them only if the soil is completely dry. A sage bee's knees cocktail and a sage gin martini are two cocktails to try with your homegrown sage.
Basil: Basil is another member of your cocktail garden that needs full sunlight. Also, basil plants grow best in moist soil. Plant them about ten to 12 inches apart. Use basil in delicious drinks like a cucumber, basil, and lime gimlet or a strawberry-rhubarb Bellini with basil.
Cilantro: Put your cilantro plants in full sunlight about 12 inches apart. The soil should be moist but not soggy. Some cocktails that include cilantro as an ingredient include a cilantro mojito or a jalapeno cilantro margarita.
Strawberries: Plant your strawberry plants in a place in your garden that receives at least eight hours of full sunlight. Your strawberries need one to two inches of water each week to flourish. There are many cocktails that involve strawberries, like a strawberry gin and tonic or a strawberry gin smash.
Raspberries: Raspberries need full sun to grow. Soak the roots of your raspberry plant for about two hours before planting it in your cocktail garden. Leave two or three feet between your plants, and provide them with an inch of water each week. The raspberry caipirinha, the raspberry margarita, and the berry cosmo are three types of cocktails to try.
Tomatoes: If you like Bloody Marys or tomato gimlets, then you need a good supply of tomatoes. Put your tomato plants in the full sun, and provide them with a stake or trellis so they have support as they grow. Be sure to give your tomato plants an inch of water each week.
Horseradish: If you love to drink Bloody Marys or horseradish vodka, then you need to have some horseradish on hand. To grow horseradish, find a spot in your cocktail garden that receives full sunlight. Water your horseradish once a week if you go through a period without any rain.
Cucumber: Plant your cucumber plants at the base of a trellis so the vines have support. Choose an area with full sunlight and well-drained soil. A spicy spa-garita or a summer wind are two cocktails with cucumbers.
There are many edible flowers you can use as garnishes for cocktails or non-alcoholic drinks. Growing violas is easily done in moist soil in an area that receives partial shade. Cover them with about 1/8 of an inch of soil. The Delft blue is one cocktail that includes violas as a garnish. Meanwhile, a cocktail called the real fruit lemon drop uses pansies as a garnish. Pansies are grown in well-drained soil and full sunlight, but they do best in cool temperatures.
I hope you start your own cocktail garden and use its plants in all sorts of recipes. Thanks for reading. - Alan