Instead of using artificial flavors to spice up your cocktails, try using some of these DIY options for a better tasting, fresher, herbal cocktail. Brew them up for the evening or kick back on the weekend outside with a cool drink.
For some of these, you’ll need pot or pan and your oven to make a quick simple syrup for flavor.
With potent flavors such as grapefruit juice, mezcal, and of course lavender, the Lavender Paloma is both a refreshing and relaxing cocktail for your day off. Make your own simple syrup by mixing together about half a cup of sugar, and start with about one teaspoon of lavender. Put the concoction in a pan and heat it over the stove; stir just enough to combine the sugar and lavender, then allow it to warm up until the sugar is has completely dissolved.
While it’s cooling, put together some salt and lavender in a separate bowl and give it a little stir. Use a cutting board to pour an even layer of the salt mixture out for garnish. Line the rim of your glass with grapefruit juice and gently roll the rim over the salt and lavender.
Use a cocktail mixer to shake up the grapefruit juice, mezcal, and lavender flavoring; pour it in your prepared glass and enjoy!
If you have extra syrup after making your drink, you can keep it for about two weeks in the refrigerator.
Bourbon Thyme Cocktail
For the simple syrup on this cocktail, you’ll need to combine half a cup of water, half a cup of honey, and a few fresh sprigs of thyme to taste. Allow the honey to dissolve over heat in a pot or saucepan.
As it cools off, use four teaspoons of simple syrup and three or four dashes of Angostura bitters to coat the inside of your glass; you can also place it in the fridge for ten to fifteen minutes for an extra chill. Add a few cubes of ice and pour your bourbon over the top, then use a lemon peel or grate some lemon zest over your drink, and that’s it!
Strawberry Basil Cocktail with Vodka
For a sweeter taste, add some strawberries to your drink! Use half a pint of very ripened chopped strawberries, and a fourth a cup of agave for extra sweetness. Heat this up in your or sauce pan with an ounce of lemon juice. The strawberries will disintegrate as they continue to heat up. Once you’re able to easily whisk the mixture, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool.
Smash up a couple of basil leaves in a glass and pour over your ice. Use a fourth of a cup of your simple syrup along with your preference of vodka and 7Up. Throw a slice or two of strawberries on top for garnish!
Thankfully this martini doesn’t require as much work when making the simple syrup; a half a cup of water with a half a cup of sugar should be just fine. Follow the same steps as above.
After it cools off, fill your cocktail shaker halfway up with ice and combine a half ounce of simple syrup, a fourth a cup of cilantro leaves, two ounces of citrus vodka, and a fourth a cup of cilantro leaves. Once you’ve shaken it completely, use a strainer to pour your martini into a glass. Add a slice of lime or an orange for garnish.
This tasty mint cocktail consists of about 6 mint leaves (add more if you enjoy the flavor), an ounce and a half of your favorite rum, two ounces of sparkling wine, a dash or two of Angostura bitters, and an ounce of the same simple syrup you you used for the Cilantro Martini. Shake up your brew and strain the resulting mixture. Pour over ice and drink up!