After a long winter’s nap, our flowers are finally blooming, lawns are looking greener, and gardeners can get out there and play in the dirt a little. Whether you have a green thumb or not, you can still reap the benefits of spring’s bounty. Right now, mother nature is the perfect inspiration for mixing up some refreshing drinks just right for lounging in the backyard, sipping while porch swinging, and toasting mom this month. There’s no need to be a mixologist, simply take your cues from the garden. Whether you’re planning a party or just looking to treat yourself here’re some simply delicious drink recipes, both non-alcoholic and spiked, perfect for ringing in spring.
Rosemary is a hearty herb that comes back year after year, barring any serious snow or frost damage. It is what’s called a “woody” herb, as the tender oblong leaves shoot from a woody stem. For most drinks and recipes you only want the leaves, and discard the stem. However, keep a few sprigs aside as they are perfect for garnishing rosemary-inspired drinks. Both the Tuscan Fresco and this Sparkling Rosemary Limeade are non-alcoholic recipes perfect for family-friendly gatherings.
When it comes to an herb garden, lavender can often be mistaken at first glance for rosemary. However, if you smell them you’ll know immediately which is which. Lavender has more of a soap scent, a bit softer than the strong pine scent of rosemary. Also rosemary has darker green leaves, whereas lavender’s leaves are more of a grayish-green. Lavender is often used in perfumes, but can be delightful in all sorts of culinary applications including this Blueberry Lavender Vodka Spritzer.
Mint can take over a garden and unless you are looking for serious coverage you may want to keep this herb potted. Mint is lovely in cocktails and mocktails from Mojitos to the quintessential spring sip served each year at the Kentucky Derby—the Mint Julep.
Thyme, like rosemary and lavender grows on a woody stem and the tiny leaves are what’re desirable for recipes. However, the same goes for thyme as it does for the others when it comes to adding a few sprigs as garnish to drinks, so keep some in tact and to the side for finishing off your pours. This gorgeous Raspberry Thyme Sangria recipe does double duty as a beautiful centerpiece and a delicious adult drink for spring.
Basil is a soft- leaved aromatic herb popular for its role in the Caprese salad as well as many Italian dishes and sauces like pesto. In drinks, it adds a fresh, vibrant flavor. This Strawberry Basil Lemonade can be made with or without alcohol making for a perfect addition to any spring time soirée.
Next time your in need of the perfect drink to clink, grab your kitchen shears, head out to the garden, and mix up one of these seasonally apropos sips.