A Trio of Herbal Cocktails

Lemon Verbena Gimlet

Lemon Verbena Gimlet

If you don’t think of using herbs in drinks, maybe you should. They add a depth of flavor that can take things to a whole new level. For a recent herb class at Graf Growers, I was asked to do a program on herbal cocktails. I must say the recipe testing was a lot of fun. We ended up sampling three drinks that day. We started with a classic Mojito, then followed up with two gin-based cocktails. One was made with a lavender syrup, the other, a Lemon Verbena Gimlet, includes a lemon verbena syrup. These are great drinks for summer, or any time, really. So here are the recipes. I hope you enjoy them. Try adding other herbs to your cocktails. You might be surprised at just how tasty they can be.


Classic Mojito


10 mint leaves, I used a variety called Mojito mint, that has a slight lime flavor

½ a lime, cut in 4 wedges

2 T. sugar

1½ oz. rum

1 c. ice cubes

½ c. club soda

In glass place mint leaves and one wedge of lime. Muddle to release juices and bruise mint leaves. Add sugar and 2 more wedges of lime. Muddle until limes are crushed. Add rum, stir well. Add ice, stir and top with club soda. Garnish with lime wedge.


Lemon Lavender Cocktail


2 oz. gin

1 ½ oz.  lemon juice

1 ½ oz.  lavender syrup (recipe follows)

splash of club soda

some ice

one lemon slice, for garnish

Pour gin, lemon juice and lavender syrup into a glass and stir. Top with club soda, add some ice and garnish with a lemon slice.


For the lavender syrup:

¾ c. water

¾ c. sugar

1 tablespoon dried lavender buds


Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Add lavender and cook on low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes, just until it starts to thicken a bit. Then set to the side to cool. Strain out the lavender and refrigerate. Yields just under a cup of syrup.


Lemon Verbena Gimlet


1 cup water

¼ c. sugar

¼ c. torn verbena leaves

¾ c. dry gin

¾ c. club soda, chilled

¼ c. fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

Lemon verbena sprigs (optional)

Lime slices (optional)



Combine 1 cup water and sugar in a small saucepan. Rub torn verbena to bruise; add to pan. Bring sugar mixture to a boil, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly; cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat; cool completely. Strain mixture through a sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Combine sugar mixture, gin, soda, and juice. Serve over ice. Garnish with verbena sprigs and lime slices, if desired.


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