Grow your own drinks



Have you tried a honey lavender martini or a basil mojito?
If not, now would be the time, as many of us have the ingredients growing in
the garden as well as sitting in the liquor cabinet.

I started using more botanical
ingredients in cocktails a couple years ago, and was happy to discover such
mixers as St. Germain liquor, which is much more well-known now than when I
started buying it. It is made from elderflowers, comes in a gorgeous bottle, is
not that expensive, and has a clear flavor that can usually be tasted well
above the din of whatever you mix it with (great with gin and gives an
excellent kick to prosecco or inexpensive champagne).

Today’s NYTimes has a nice
piece on floral cocktails
, timed perfectly with the arrival of true summer
weather across the Northeast. Check it out. And here’s a honey lavender martini

1 part gin

½ part honey lavender syrup

shake with ice, strain into a glass. Add a squeeze of lemon
if it seems too sweet.

Make honey lavender syrup by boiling 1/4 cup honey and 1/2
cup water with 3 teaspoons lavender, and adding 1/4 cup lemon juice after it
cools. That will make enough syrup for a few cocktails. (I have adapted these proportions from a local restaurant that makes these, so some experimentation may be in order.)

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Oh yes, I’m a big fan of herbal cocktails! Lemon verbena tends to be my key ingredient. Find a recipe for a Lemon Verbena drop here:

    later today I’ll be posting a recipe on for a lemon verbena blueberry martini in a larger article on CSA farms, but I need to get the photos done first!

    This recipe sounds lovely, but I really want to try Amy’s watermelon martini this season….Amy, could you post it here?!

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