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Summer on Ice: Easy Garden-Inspired Drinks for Your Next Get-Together

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Summer on Ice: Easy Garden-Inspired Drinks for Your Next Get-Together

July 4, 2023

When it comes to entertaining, we are fans of low-lift, high-payoff recipes, particularly in the summer, when our time is better spent outdoors, preferably on a hammock, with a drink in hand. If you feel similarly, read on. We’ve searched our archives for the best summer drinks and cocktails. These delicious fresh-from-the garden concoctions are easy to make—and easy to love. (For non-alcoholic ideas, scroll down to the second half.)

Cocktails

Raspberry Sparkler

Above: Perfect for a Fourth of July celebration, this refreshing Raspberry Sparkler cocktail uses raspberries, lemons, limes, and mint–plus gin and vinho verde, the slightly effervescent Portuguese wine. Photograph by Olivia Rae James for Gardenista, from DIY: Raspberry Sparkler for the Fourth of July.

Elderflower Cordial

Above: If you have elderflowers on your property, consider this recipe for elderflower cordial, a syrup that’s the basis for a delicate, old-fashioned floral drink long beloved in Europe. This takes a little bit of planning as you’ll have to steep it for 24 hours. Once ready, you can dilute the cordial to taste, using flat or sparkling water, and add lemon slices. Or add it to a gin and tonic, a vodka and soda, or even Champagne. Photograph via Makers & Brothers, from A Family Recipe for Elderflower Cordial via Dublin.

The Honeysuckle Rose

Above: Gardenista contributor Justine Hand created this recipe that uses gin, lemon, and a simple syrup featuring rose geranium leaves. Photograph by Justine Hand, from DIY: Summer Cocktail with Rose Geranium Simple Syrup.

Basil Pomada

Love basil? Consider making a basil pomada, a slushy frozen drink that hails from Menorca, Spain. Gather basil, sugar, lemons, and gin. Then read Basil’s Last Stand: A Garden-to-Table Frozen Cocktail Recipe for the complete directions. Photograph by Laura Silverman for Gardenista.
Above: Love basil? Consider making a basil pomada, a slushy frozen drink that hails from Menorca, Spain. Gather basil, sugar, lemons, and gin. Then read Basil’s Last Stand: A Garden-to-Table Frozen Cocktail Recipe for the complete directions. Photograph by Laura Silverman for Gardenista.

Non-Alcoholic

Lavender Soda

Above: A lavender infused simple syrup yields a sophisticated fizzy drink. Photograph by Marla Aufmuth for Gardenista, from DIY: Lavender Soda.

Infused Waters

Above: The simplest idea of all: Add your favorite herbs and fruits to your water carafe and enjoy the results. For two unexpected combos, see Herbal Essence: Just Add Water. Photograph by Erin Boyle.

Hibiscus Limeade

Above: Bright hibiscus flowers turn a limeade into a punchy-colored drink. Photograph by Sarah Lonsdale for Gardenista, from Hibiscus and Lime: A Quick and Easy Summer Thirst Quencher.

Rose Petal Ice Cubes

Above: Elevate cocktails and drinks with rose petals captured in ice. Photograph by Michelle Slatalla for Gardenista, from DIY: Rose Petal Ice Cubes.

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Frequently asked questions

What are some easy garden-infused drinks for summer?

Some easy garden-infused drinks for summer include Raspberry Lemonade, Mint Julep, Cucumber Lime Mojito, and Watermelon Basil Cooler.

How do you make Raspberry Lemonade?

To make Raspberry Lemonade, combine fresh raspberries, lemon juice, sugar, and water in a pitcher. Stir well and let it sit for a while to infuse the flavors. Serve over ice.

What ingredients do I need for a Mint Julep?

To make a Mint Julep, you will need bourbon, fresh mint leaves, sugar, and crushed ice. Mix the mint leaves and sugar, add bourbon, and top with crushed ice. Stir gently and garnish with a mint sprig.

How can I make a Cucumber Lime Mojito?

To make a Cucumber Lime Mojito, muddle fresh cucumber slices, lime wedges, mint leaves, and sugar in a glass. Add rum and ice, then top with club soda. Stir well and garnish with a cucumber slice and mint sprig.

What is a Watermelon Basil Cooler?

A Watermelon Basil Cooler is a refreshing drink made by blending fresh watermelon chunks, basil leaves, lime juice, and a sweetener of choice. Strain and serve over ice, garnished with a watermelon slice and basil leaf.

Can I customize these garden-infused drinks?

Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the sweetness, acidity, or alcohol content according to your taste preferences. You can also experiment with adding other herbs, fruits, or even spices to create your own unique flavors.

Are these drinks suitable for all ages?

While the recipes provided can be enjoyed by adults, you can easily create non-alcoholic versions for all ages. Simply omit the alcohol and adjust the sweetness or add more non-alcoholic ingredients to enhance the flavors.

Where can I find more garden-infused drink recipes?

For more garden-infused drink recipes, you can explore recipe websites, cocktail books, or even consult experienced mixologists who specialize in botanical cocktails. Additionally, you can find numerous recipes and inspiration on Gardenista's website and other garden-focused platforms.

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