Food-Lover's Garden: Grow Your Own Cocktails

With smart planning and some new varieties of seeds and plants, you can create a garden based on your favorite dishes.
Related To:
Food-Lover's Garden: Grow Your Own Cocktails

Various green vegetables against a white background

Various green vegetables against a white background

Cocktails
Mix up summer drinks with these fresh herbs and veggies.

Celery: Try Tall Utah celery, which grows easily in planters and will taste great in a Bloody Mary. Harvest just the outer stalks at first; the inner stalks will continue to ripen and will be ready to pick within 14 days.

Lavender: Hearty Hidcote and Munstead lavenders are well suited for containers. Muddle 1 to 2 tablespoons of lavender and mix an aromatic drink with vodka, elderflower liqueur and a splash of lemon juice (be sure to double-strain). Lavender needs no love -- you can use poor soil, forget the fertilizer and skip the water, and it will still thrive and bloom twice a season.

Cucumbers: Marketmore cucumbers make a refreshing, slightly sweet addition to summer drinks; muddle one into a gin and tonic, or simply drop a few slices into ice water. Cucumber plants are prolific producers. Start just one in a whiskey barrel with a trellis, and you’ll have plenty of cukes all summer.

Lemon verbena: Add fragrant lemon verbena leaves to simple syrup, or rub one or two around the rim of a cocktail glass for a burst of flavor. Pick lemon verbena leaves in the morning, when they have the highest concentration of oil and are the most flavorful. Water the plant well, and it will grow until the first frost. Hang-dry extra sprigs to use throughout winter.

Mint: Spearmint is ideal for mojitos; it's not candy-sweet like peppermint. Try adding whole leaves to pitchers of iced tea or muddling them in individual glasses for a more intense flavor. It's fast growing, so it's best confined to containers. A 12-inch wide planter of mint will yield a generous bunch every week.

Use your home-grown produce to make a Fresh Mint Martini.

Next Up

Food-Lover's Garden: Grow Your Own Snacks

With smart planning and some new varieties of seeds and plants, you can create a garden based on your favorite dishes.

What Is Primavera?

For a quick Meatless Monday supper, check out Food Network's easy recipes for pasta primavera, a quick-to-make meal featuring seasonal spring vegetables.

The Best Things to Do with Fresh Herbs

They're more versatile than you think!

Food Network Magazine: Feb/March 2009 Recipe Index

Find easy recipes for appetizers, main dishes, sides and desserts from Food Network Magazine.

Spring Break Is the Best Time to Take on a Cooking Project

Because sometimes the best ingredient is time.

What Do I Do with Parsnips?

Parsnips are a classic ingredient in some chicken broths and soups, and can also be baked, sauteed, steamed, mashed or pureed, roasted, used in stews and fried.

Latest Stories