A look into the best winter herbs and how you can incorporate them into your cocktail menu
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You might not have known it, but many of the most common garden herbs make fantastic ingredients for fancy cocktails.
Their distinct flavours and subtle fragrances add the kind of complexity to mixed drinks that you would expect from a fancy lounge or upmarket bar.
With a little practise, you can whip up something equally impressive on your kitchen counter using winter herbs.
To help you brush up on your bartending skills, we have shared three herb-infused cocktail recipes that you can easily make at home.
Rosemary is a stalwart for winter roasts, many cooks love it for the unique taste it brings to the dish.
Rosemary, lemon, apple, and cranberry mocktail by Simon Rogan
50g of rosemary
10g of lemon verbena
500ml of water
500g of caster sugar
To finish the cocktail
20ml of lemon juice
100ml of apple juice
100ml of cranberry juice, fresh
Apple marigold, leaves
Preheat a water bath to 50°C. To prepare the lemon verbena and rosemary syrup, add the rosemary, lemon verbena, water, and sugar to a vac pac bag.
Remove the air with your hands, seal without vacuum, and place in the water bath for one hour. Allow the mix to cool, then pass through a strainer.
Add 20ml of the syrup to a cocktail shaker with lemon juice, apple juice and cranberry juice.
Shake and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes, garnish with the apple marigold leaves, orange peel and raspberries.
According to Eco-herb, thyme is one of the hardiest of all the herbs. It makes a small, bushy pot plant, and the more the leaves are picked the better it does. But when you get it right, an infusion, especially of lemon-scented thyme, helps relieve coughs and colds. In the kitchen thyme can be used, in casseroles and stews, to garnish roasts or added to salad dressings and salads.
1½ tot Belvedere Pure
1 tot sugar syrup
1 tot lemon juice
Add Belvedere, raspberry, thyme, sugar, and lemon to a shaker filled with ice and shake well. Fine strain into a tall glass filled with ice and top up with soda water.
Garnish with raspberry and thyme.
This winter, take advantage of fresh mint. Infused in spirits, the resulting spirit is an invigorating, fruity mixer perfect for winter warming cocktails.
50ml of your favourite white rum
25ml sugar syrup*
15ml lime cordial
200 ml soda water
5 crushed mint leaves
1 cup of crushed ice
Shake these up in your cocktail shaker and serve up.