May 23rd, 2018

Herb-infused Cocktails: From Garden to Glass

drink and beverage samples

Lemongrass-basil Prosecco pairs well with a watermelon and goat cheese salad.

Tired of bland and boring cocktails? Harvest some herbs for herb-infused cocktails!

“Fresh herbs take mixology to a whole new level,” said Ashley Greene, catering manager with Meriwether Godsey, the in-house caterer for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. The pungency of herbs infuses unexpected flavors and pleasant aromas.

“Mixing craft cocktails involves science and the art of balancing flavors,” Greene said. “Recipes can be easily altered with various herbs to suit individual tastes and different occasions.”

A new arsenal of craft cocktails not only expands your beverage horizons. It can upgrade your at-home entertainment, too.

“Guests are so surprised, even impressed with the distinctive flavors,” she said. “Besides, the nutrients in herbs support good health.”

Greene demonstrated the following recipes during an Adult Education Culinary Class last month at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Cheers!

A version of this article first published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Herb-infused Cocktails


Lemongrass-Basil Prosecco

 1 ounce flavored simple syrup (recipe follows)

3 large basil leaves with short stems

1/8 cup lemongrass, cut into rings

¼ teaspoon water

¾ cup sparkling white wine

Fresh lemon wedge

  1.  Add simple syrup, basil, lemongrass and water to a blender. Puree until smooth.
  2.  Strain mixture through fine mesh strainer (mixture can be made ahead and stored in refrigerator for one week).
  3.  Partially fill a champagne flute with sparkling white wine. Top with basil-syrup mixture to taste, about 1½ tablespoons.
  4.  Lightly stir.
  5.  Garnish with lemon wedge and serve immediately.

Adapted from “The Novice Chef”

Suggested pairing: Watermelon salad with goat cheese crumbles and balsamic reduction.


Simple Syrup

1 c. water

1 c. sugar

  1.  Place water and sugar in saucepan.
  2.  Heat slowly, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.
  3.  Steep until mixture cools.
  4.  Use or refrigerate in airtight container for up to one to two weeks.
About Beth Monroe

Beth Monroe is public relations and marketing director at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. She feels honored to be part of a team connecting people and plants to improve our community.

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