Fresh herbs in a cocktail add flavor, beauty, and depth. As the weather warms up, there is nothing I want to do more than to sit outside, enjoy the view, and sip on a delicious cocktail. If there are fresh herbs in that cocktail, it adds an earthiness character to that drink which makes it even more enjoyable!

There are two different ways to incorporate herbs into your cocktail. For beautiful, leafy herbs, you can muddle them at the bottom of your glass and add liquor to create your drink. For a non-leafy herb, you can boil equal parts water and sugar and throw the herbs into the saucepan to make a nice simple syrup to add to your cocktail.

In case you haven’t tried making your own cocktails with fresh herbs, here are some recipes you can experiment with:

Mint – Mint is one of the most common herbs found in cocktails most likely because you can use it with any liquor. One of my favorite cocktails with mint is the mint julep. Here are two recipes to try using mint:

Image from by food52.com.

The Mint Julep


  • 2-3 oz. bourbon (Maker’s Mark works well)
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • Handful of mint leaves

Directions: Place 4-5 mint leaves and simple syrup at the bottom of a julep glass. Muddle gently to release the mints’ oils. Add bourbon and stir gently to combine. Fill glass with crush ice and stir some more. Top drink with more crushed ice and mint for garnish and enjoy!

Image from saveur.com.

The Saint


For the ginger syrup:

  • 1 C. Sugar
  • 1 6in. piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

For the cocktail:

  • 3 oz. dry white wine
  • 1 ½ oz. ginger syrup
  • ½ oz. Dolin blanc vermouth
  • ½ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • Club soda, to top off cocktail
  • Orange bitters
  • Basil leaves, mint leaves, and a lemon peel for garnish

Directions: First make the ginger syrup the night before. Combine sugar, ginger, and 1 C. water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Chill overnight and strain to discard solids.

For the cocktail combine wine, ginger syrup, vermouth and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into stemless wine glass and top with soda and 3 dashes of bitters. Garnish with mint, basil leaves, and a lemon peel.

Rosemary – Rosemary is commonly made into simple syrup for cocktails and used as a garnish. Typically rosemary goes well in gin and vodka drinks.   And not only is Rosemary tasty in cocktails, it embodies essential oils known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties! Pretty beneficial! Here are two fantastic rosemary cocktails:

Image from foxeslovelemons.com.

Lemon and Rosemary Bourbon Sour


For the simple syrup:

  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • ½ C. granulated sugar
  • ½ C. water

For the cocktail:

  • 1 ½ oz bourbon
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ oz. rosemary simple syrup
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish: sprigs of rosemary

Directions: First make your simple syrup by boiling the sugar, water, and rosemary sprigs. Simmer and place in jar in the refrigerator to chill. Then in a cocktail shaker combine the bourbon, lemon, juice, rosemary simple syrup, and ice and shake well. Serve over ice and garnish rosemary sprig.

Image from hgtv.com.

Rosemary Greyhound Cocktail


For the simple syrup:

  • 2 C water
  • 2 C. sugar
  • 6 sprigs rosemary

For the cocktail:

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • ½ oz. rosemary simple syrup
  • 4 oz. grapefruit juice
  • Sprig of rosemary for garnish

Directions: Start with making the simple syrup. Boil the water, sugar, and rosemary, and bring to a simmer. Once the sugar has dissolved, take it off the heat, jar it, and stick it in the refrigerator overnight. For the cocktail, combine the vodka, rosemary simple syrup, and grapefruit juice. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and enjoy.

Image from buckscountygardens.com.

Happy spring!