The classic. Picture: Supplied
The classic. Picture: Supplied

A look into the best winter herbs and how you can incorporate them into your cocktail menu

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published May 31, 2021

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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

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

Ingredients

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

Orange peel

Raspberries

Ice cubes

Method

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.

Serve immediately.

Thyme

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.

Raspberry Collins

Ingredients

1½ tot Belvedere Pure

2 raspberries

Sprig thyme

1 tot sugar syrup

1 tot lemon juice

Soda water

Method

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.

Mint

This winter, take advantage of fresh mint. Infused in spirits, the resulting spirit is an invigorating, fruity mixer perfect for winter warming cocktails.

The classic

Ingredients

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

Method

Shake these up in your cocktail shaker and serve up.

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