There’s nothing better than fresh herbs. Except for fresh herbs in a cool and refreshing drink. But rather than spending money on store-bought herbs or half-wilted plants, what about growing them yourself?
Herbs don’t take up much space so they’re ideal plants for a small kitchen or apartment. All you really need is a balcony or window that gets a decent amount of sunlight. As the weather warms, you can enjoy cocktails and water infusions with these easily grown at home herbs.
Whether you have a green thumb or are new to gardening, mint is a good plant to start growing. This herb grows quickly and can be kept in a small pot. The cheapest and easiest way to grow mint is to cut the top growth of a plant, and place in water until the plant takes roots. Then transfer to a pot with soil and compost. You can use a few leaves for mojitos, or combine them with ginger and lemon and add to water.
Known as the “king of herbs,” basil is a summer herb that loves lots of sunshine and heat. So ensure your pot lives in a sunny spot. Bonus for coffee drinkers: lightly sprinkle grounds into the soil every few weeks for a homemade fertilizer. Besides using basil on pizza, soup or sandwiches, you can also make a basil, lemon and cucumber water blend or create a summer bloody mary drink or mocktail.
If you’re one of several people who thinks cilantro tastes like soap, you may not be growing some anytime soon. But for those who like the herb, cilantro is relatively easy for new gardeners to grow. Too much heat and sunshine can actually shorten the life cycle, so pick a bright spot with indirect or patchy sunlight. You can use cilantro for a garnish or in dishes of course. But also try a spicy lime cilantro gin and tonic or muddle some cilantro leaves with blood orange slices for a new twist to your water.
Lavender is probably one of the most well-known plants to induce relaxation and reduce anxiety but the herb also makes for a great drink garnish! This plant love the sun so choose a pot with holes in the bottom and place in a sunny spot and rotate every few days. Steep muddled lavender leaves and flowers in vodka for up to a week, then strain the liquid for freshly infused lavender vodka. Or add lavender with mixed berries into iced water and leave to steep.