Our summer plans may have been put on hold again, but we can still create a holiday atmosphere right here (whatever the weather brings!).
Cocktails at home have become a big hit over the last year, and using homegrown herbs and ingredients in cocktails and mocktails is a big trend in 2021. What could be fresher than ‘just picked’ fruit or herbs from your garden popped into an ice-cold drink? From garden to glass, once you start growing your own ingredients, you’ll realise that the taste is out of this world.
Here we share some of Squire’s Garden Centre’s great tips for growing your own ingredients to make a range of summery drinks, while over the page we celebrate some wonderful local places you can enjoy a refreshing tipple. Cheers!
“It’s very easy to create a cocktail garden at home,” says Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres. “You can grow most fruit and herbs in flower beds or containers, and they tend to like a sunny spot with good drainage. Now that the weather is warm it is time to have fun in the garden, and what better way to enjoy your garden than with a cocktail in your hand, which includes your own homegrown produce.”
Squire’s has a wide range of fruit plants and herbs to help you create your own cocktail garden at home. Buy plants in-store or online for local delivery at squiresgardencentres.co.uk. You’ll also find great recipes for Strawberry and Basil Infused Lemonade, Garden Gin & Tonic, Dill & Cucumber Gin Fizz and an Orange & Thyme Mocktail (see below).
Or be bold and create your own recipes, depending on which ingredients you are growing.
You could try:
- Rhubarb (great in a Martini)
- Strawberries (to pop into a Pimms or to create a Strawberry & Basil Infused Lemonade)
- Apple (tasty in Pimms or in a Martini)
- Peach (add to champagne to create a Bellini)
- Blueberry (perfect for muddling, or for making syrups to use in blueberry cocktails)
- Cucumber (for Dill & Cucumber Gin Fizz or put in a Pimms)
- Mint (for Mojitos, Pimms and Mint Julep)
- Basil (use a few fresh leaves as a garnish)
- Rosemary (for infusions, syrups or muddling)
- Thyme (essential in an Orange & Thyme Mocktail)
- Dill (to create a Dill & Cucumber Gin Fizz)
Orange & Thyme Mocktail
Ingredients (makes five drinks):
- 6 small oranges, peeled & seeds removed
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp orange extract
- 60ml vodka (optional)
- 950ml pure coconut water
- In a blender combine oranges, thyme and orange extract until smooth. Strain it thoroughly.
- Pour back into the blender and add coconut water, blend for 2 minutes.
- Pour into a large jug.
- Fill individual glasses with ice and garnish with thyme. Pour slowly and serve immediately.
Strawberry & Basil Infused Lemonade
Ingredients (makes one drink):
- 30ml lemon juice
- 85ml club soda
- 30ml strawberry puree
- 60ml vodka (optional)
- A few fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Strawberry chunks for garnish
- Mix together vodka (optional), strawberry puree, ice and lemon juice in a highball glass or mason jar.
- Top with club soda until the glass is full.
- Garnish with strawberry slices and basil leaves.
- Note: the sweetness of this drink will vary depending on the ripeness of your strawberries. If your berries are early in the season and a little bit tart, you may wish to add a little more puree, and if they’re fully ripe, then you may wish to decrease the puree.
Squires Garden Centre