Love from the Garden: Four Garden-Inspired Drinks for Valentines Day
By: National Gardening Association Editors
Drink your fruits and veggies! Garden mixology is an increasingly popular trend, using ingredients from the garden to craft delicious and unusual cocktails. Booze Époque, a boutique craft cocktail catering company servicing the Greater Boston area, creates whimsical cocktails using fresh, local, organic, and seasonal ingredients for private parties and special events.
″We've always been inspired by the garden and that was one of the biggest reasons we started Booze Époque. We saw a dearth of fresh ingredients in the beverage catering industry and wanted to bring beautiful, vibrant ingredients directly to our clients, say Meaghan Sinclair, who with Harmony Dawn founded Booze Époque. ″We both have gardens and all summer we harvest herbs and vegetables for our cocktails. Each year we've been experimenting by adding new crops and seeing what we can incorporate into our drinks. This past year lovage and lemon balm were big winners.″
We asked Meaghan and Harmony to share a few of their garden-inspired creations with NGA. In honor of Valentine's Day, they've come up with very different recipes that all have one thing in common -- each contains at least one ingredient that's considered an aphrodisiac. In the Heartbeet, rose and cardamom do the honors; in Lovely Loretta, ginger and honey; in Evergreen, jalapeño, and in Pink Potion, watermelon. What a way to start off a romantic Valentine's Day dinner!
Beets lend a beautiful color to this cocktail. We use a juicer to make the fresh beet juice.
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 1/4 ounce fresh beet juice
- 1 ounce cardamom rose syrup*
- 1 ounce lemon juice
Shake over ice. Strain into glass with fresh cubed ice. Garnish with small organic rose bud (use only pesticide-free flowers.)
*Rose Cardamom Syrup
- 1 cup organic sugar
- 6 ounces water
- 2 ounces rose water (We usually use Al Wadi brand)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
Bring all ingredients to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, let simmer for 10 minutes. Cool before using.
This is like a boozy smoothie!
- 1 1/2 ounces tequila (we like Hornitos brand)
- 2 ounces lime juice
- 2 slices fresh jalapeño
- 1 large Lacinato kale leaf, chopped
- 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
Blend all until smooth. Pour into a glass with ice. Garnish with jalapeño slice.
Edible nasturtium blossoms make a lovely garnish for Loretta!
- Sugar and salt mixed in 2:1 ratio
- 1 1/2 ounces tequila (We use Vida Mezcal)
- 1 ounce honey syrup (made from 1 part honey to 1 part water)
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 1/4 ounce fresh juiced ginger root
Dip moistened rim of glass into sugar/salt mixture. Combine remaining ingredients in ice-filled shaker. Strain into glass. Garnish with fresh ginger root and a nasturtium blossom.
This non-alcoholic drink is bursting with fresh fruit flavors.
- 4 ounces fresh watermelon juice
- 1 ounce strawberry simple syrup*
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 2 ounces club soda
Mix ingredients together. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish with sprig of lemon balm.
* Strawberry simple syrup: Boil together 1 cup fresh strawberries, 1 cup raw sugar, and 1 cup water until sugar dissolves. Strain.