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10 Essential Herbs That Can Elevate Your Cocktails To Another Level

leaves in cocktail

If you’ve been skimping on cocktail garnishes, think again. Garnishes are vital to a cocktail not just from a visual standpoint but also for the aromatic element that it lends to the drink. A person with a cocktail in hand will be more enticed into sipping the drink if it is garnished well. Here is a list of ten essential herbs that are guaranteed to transform your cocktails into unforgettable drinks.

Basil: A Versatile Classic

basil in cocktails

The spicy-sweet flavour profile of basil makes it the perfect accompaniment to gin and vodka-based drinks. If you are in the mood to try a cocktail based on this herb, try a Basil-cucumber Gin Smash. All you will need is 59 ml gin, 29 ml fresh lemon juice, 29 ml simple syrup, a handful of basil leaves and cucumber slices. The cocktail is a great example of how well basil can harmonise with the botanicals present in gin.   

Mint: The Evergreen Refresher

In the world of cocktails, mint is a classic, known for its burst of coolness. Paired excellently with rum-based cocktails or even bourbon, mint has the power to instantly uplift any drink. If you are looking for mint-based cocktails, try a Mint Julep that uses 73 ml bourbon, 14 ml simple syrup along with fresh mint leaves. You can also try creating a classic Mojito using 59 ml white rum, 29 ml fresh lime juice, 29 ml simple syrup, fresh mint leaves and soda water. 

Rosemary: For a Touch of Earthiness

Whether used on its own or infused into a simple syrup, rosemary is known for its pine-like fragrance and creates a sophisticated aura to any cocktail it is paired with. Two great cocktails that incorporate this earthy herb are Rosemary Grapefruit Gin and Rosemary-infused Vodka Lemonade. The former combines 59 ml gin, 29 ml fresh grapefruit juice, 14 ml honey syrup, and a sprig of fresh rosemary. While the latter combines 59 ml vodka, 29 ml fresh lemon juice, and 29 ml rosemary-infused simple syrup.

Thyme: A Herbal Symphony

thyme in cocktail

Thyme is characterised by its earthy and citrusy fragrance and goes well with vodka and gin-based cocktails. A simple and straightforward Gin and Thyme Lemonade, incorporating 59 ml gin, 29 ml fresh lemon juice and 28 ml thyme-infused simple syrup, is a great example that showcases how versatile and flavourful the herb is.

Sage: For Savoury Elegance

Another earthy herb, sage pairs well with gin and bourbon. A Sage-grapefruit Bourbon smash, containing 59 ml bourbon, 29 ml fresh grapefruit juice, and 14 ml sage-infused honey syrup, is a great way to showcase how the herb can balance the sweetness of fruit and spirit.

Curry Leave: An Exotic Twist

If you are looking to add a hint of spice that also packs in a subtle punch, try incorporating curry leaves into your cocktails. The uncomplicated Curry Leaf Gin and Tonic, made up of 59 ml gin, tonic water and fresh curry leaves, and the Spiced Pineapple Rum Punch made up of 59 ml dark rum, 88 ml pineapple juice and 29 ml of curry leaf-infused simple syrup, showcases the herb’s ability to add complexity and depth.

Lemongrass: Sharp Zestiness

lemongrass in cocktail

For a citrusy and zesty kick, lemongrass is the way to go. You can try a Lemongrass Moscow Mule that incorporates 59 ml vodka, gingerbeer and lemongrass stalk.

Kaffir Lime Leaves: Citrusy Elegance

Bringing forth a burst of citrusy fragrance, kaffir lime leaves are great if you want to elevate the citrusy profile of your cocktails, like the Kaffir Lime Margarita that uses 59 ml tequila, 29 ml triple sec, 29 ml fresh lime juice and kaffir lime leaves.

All it takes to transform your cocktail from mundane to magnificent is adding fresh herbs that are guaranteed to unleash a burst of flavours, making your cocktail even more flavoursome. 


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