Garden-fresh gin cocktails

Blueberry gin mojitos with mint garnish in glass jam jars.

Great gardens call for great drinks, and nothing beats the zingy freshness of ice-cold, al fresco gin cocktail on a sunny day or any day to be honest. But when was the last time you got creative with your gin?

The G&T is a classic favourite, but we’re in the midst of a ‘ginaissance’, and with so many exciting gin flavours and recipes to try, why stop at tonic?

Classic gin and tonic with lime and a mint garnish.
Let’s get mixing

Gin gets its name and zesty flavour from juniper (the essential ingredient) and is complemented with a range of rich botanicals, like coriander seeds, angelica and orris root making it a perfectly crisp and flexible base for cocktails

We asked John Burke from the Craft Gin Club to pick his top three recipes for lounging outdoors, including herbs to garnish with. Check them out, then wow your friends with some mean mixing skills and freshly picked ingredients straight from your garden!

Classic Gin Martini

What’s in it?
Your favourite gin, vermouth and ice.

How do you make it?
Pop the vermouth and ice in your stirring glass or shaker, stir and strain. Add gin, stir and then strain into cocktail glasses. Start with 1 part vermouth and 45 parts gin, but feel free to experiment.

“It depends on how you like it; wet, perfect, dry or dirty with decreasing amounts of dry vermouth as you work your way from left to right.” John Burke, Craft Gin Club

And to garnish?
Instead of the usual olive or lemon peel, add some rosemary for a distinctly fragrant martini.

Gin martini with rosemary garnish.

What’s in it?
Equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth.

How do you make it?
Add gin, Campari, vermouth and ice to a glass, stir and enjoy.

And to garnish?
This drink is traditionally garnished with orange peel, but for an alternative citrus flavour, try it with some lemon verbena.

Pink gin with lime and rosemary garnish.
Pink Gin

What’s in it?
Gin, Angostura Bitters, ice.

How do you make it?
Pour gin over ice cubes and add a few dashes of Angostura Bitters it really doesn’t get easier than this!

And to garnish?
Try it with some thyme, rosemary or star anise, and a slice of your favourite fruit.

Cutting out alcohol? Try this mouthwatering mocktail.

Mint Mockito

What’s in it?
Mint leaves, apple juice, lime juice, soda water and ice.

How do you make it?
Crush a small bunch of mint leaves at the bottom of a glass, add juices and some crushed ice, then top it up with soda water.

And to garnish?
A fresh sprig of mint.

Mint mockito with fresh mint.

Tasty tip

Accessorise your cocktails with flower and herb ice cubes. Simply add your favourite herbs and edible flowers to an ice tray, pour over water and freeze.

Fruit cocktail with mint garnish.
Experiment with flavours

Not that you’re armed with some delicious recipes, it’s time to get creative with your coWhat makes the perfect gin cocktail? Impress your friends with delicious recipes this spring and summer, using fresh ingredients straight from your garden.cktails.

Find inspiration in your garden and grow your own fresh mint or rosemary for added aroma; try some fresh basil or coriander leaves for a peppery twist; or if you have lavender growing outside, pop a stem in your gin for a sweet, flowery taste.

Options are endless, so don’t be afraid to play around with ingredients. For more expert tips on both conventional and exotic gin types and toppings, have a look at The Definitive Gin Distillers Garnish Guide.