How to Create a Cocktail Garden
There is just something about summer evenings spent in the backyard, admiring your lush garden or landscape, steak on the grill and a fresh cocktail in hand.
One of the best ways to make your cocktail more refreshing is by using herbs from your own garden. Planting herbs is a great first step for those new to gardening because they grow quickly and many types are low maintenance. They will also thrive indoors if you need to take extra care with light, temperature and watering conditions. It is also a great way for an experienced gardener to expand and enhance a garden.
How do I start a cocktail garden?
If you are new to gardening, buying seedlings is the easiest way to get started. You might want to get started at the first signs of spring, but many herbs don’t handle frost well; wait a little longer if you are keeping them outdoors.
Creating a cocktail garden using containers is smart, especially since you can bring them inside for the winter and enjoy herbs the entire year in your cocktails – and also use them to enhance your favorite dishes.
Quick tips for container cocktail gardens
- If you do choose to plant in containers, make sure you use quality potting soil and the container allows for good drainage. Experts recommend planting in clay pots since they are porous. If you overwater, the clay allows the soil to dry out faster, so the roots don’t get soggy.
- Water according to the specific plant’s instructions.
- If you see signs of wilting, water could be the problem check to see if the plant needs water immediately.
- Herbs love sunlight; at least 6-8 hours of direct sun is ideal. If possible, full morning sun and afternoon shade will keep them looking great.
- Most herbs do not require much fertilizer. Fertilizing once or twice during their growth cycle will provide best results. Keeping your herbs free of weeds is important, so do a check at least once a week. Weeds prevent the herb from getting the proper nutrients it needs to grow and can also attract pests, which can destroy your herbs.
- While mint is probably the most popular herb used in cocktails, it is fast-growing can take over a garden or container quickly.
What herbs go in a cocktail garden?
Here are a few suggestions of herbs to consider adding to your garden or your containers to enhance your homemade cocktails by muddling or for use as a colorful garnish. Some also work well as spirit infusions for making bitters, syrups and shrubs.
Whether a mojito muddled with fresh mint or a refreshing cilantro jalapeño margarita is your drink of choice, we encourage you to find inspiration from some of our favorite cocktail recipes from Traeger.
It’s also a great idea to use fruits and vegetables from your garden in homemade cocktails, from refreshing cucumbers and spicy jalapeños to juicy strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Whichever herb is your favorite to muddle into your cocktails or infuse into your preferred spirits, it’s important to just have fun with the flavors and to keep experimenting. Cheers!