The Ultimate Cocktail Garden: Grow These Plants Now for Fresh Sips All Season Long
Raise the bar in your spring container garden and add fresh flavor to your favorite concoctions with these delicious, easy-to-grow ingredients.
Turn ordinary drinks into gourmet beverages with fresh and delicious cocktail-friendly fruits and herbs sourced right from your own backyard. Whether your outdoor space is large or small, favorites such as strawberries, lavender, mint and more can be grown easily in containers with just a little bit of time and effort. Get our expert growing tips and tricks below + garden-fresh recipes to try once your cocktail garden is ready for harvest. Cheers!
Grow This: Alpine Strawberries
DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
Smaller and sweeter than the grocery store variety, water-loving alpine strawberries thrive in small containers. Plant these delicious fruits in early spring and you'll have a rich harvest to use in pies, jams, cocktails and more come summertime.
Get Growing: How to Grow Strawberries in a Container
Sip This: Magic Hour Cocktail
This fruity cocktail mixes gin and Aperol with notes of strawberries, cucumber, mint and orange for a refreshing summer sip.
Get the Recipe: Magic Hour Cocktail
Grow This: Cucumbers
Nothing is quite as delicious as a homegrown cucumber. And lucky for us, these crisp, juicy fruits grow easily in containers. Sow seed in early spring for indoor crops and mid-spring for outdoor crops.
Get Growing: Guide to Growing Cucumbers Indoors and Out
Sip This: Cucumber-Mint Rickey
Once your cucumbers are ripe and ready for picking, slice one up to make this crisp, garden-fresh version of a classic Gin Rickey.
Get the Recipe: Cucumber-Mint Rickey
Grow This: Mint
Cool and flavorful, mint is a delicious addition to almost any cocktail. Plant this easy-growing herb in sun or shade in late spring after the last frost. Because mint is a "takeover" plant — meaning it will grow wildly and spread wherever it's planted — it's best to plant it in its own pot and cut it back regularly to prevent legginess.
Get Growing: How to Grow a Mint Container Garden
Sip This: Blueberry Julep Ice Pops
Okay, so you won't technically be "sipping" this frozen take on a classic mint julep, but you'll definitely enjoy this portable cocktail on those hot summer days by the pool!
Get the Recipe: Blueberry Mint Julep Ice Pops
Grow This: Sage
In addition to its many culinary uses, this aromatic herb has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is often used as a digestion aid. Drought-tolerant and hardy, sage thrives in moderately warm, sunny spots and is very forgiving if you accidentally skip a watering or two.
Get Growing: Everything You Need to Know About Growing Sage
Sip This: Highland Sage
Image by Brent Herrig
Bring out your inner mixologist with this gourmet whiskey cocktail that incorporates garden-fresh ingredients like honey, sage and lemon juice for an unforgettable flavor experience.
Get the Recipe: Highland Sage Cocktail
Grow This: English Lavender
Image courtesy of Sunset
A perfect container companion to sage, lavender is the ultimate "set it and forget it" plant. This evergreen Mediterranean herb is super drought-tolerant and thrives on very little water and care. In fact, if planted in rich, moist soil, it will likely rot. For culinary use, choose English lavender (pictured), also known as Lavandula angustifolia.
Get Growing: Everything You Need to Know About Growing Lavender
Sip This: Lavender Collins
This pretty twist on the classic Collins cocktail puts fresh-picked lavender to good use.
Get the Recipe: Lavender Collins Cocktail
Grow This: Rosemary
This variety of rosemary is beloved for its winter hardiness outdoors, but it also makes a fine indoor plant. The secret to success is to avoid overwatering (a clay pot helps) and growing it on the cool side through winter. Harvest leaves as needed to season meats and soups. Botanical name: Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Arp’
Plant this warm-weather herb in late spring in a medium-sized container that allows for plenty of drainage. Place in full or part sun and water when the top two inches of soil feels dry. Rosemary also does great indoors near a sunny window.
Sip This: Rosemary Greyhound
Rosemary Greyhound Cocktail with Simple Syrup
If you like your adult beverages on the sweet and savory side- try this Rosemary Greyhound Cocktail. It’s pretty in pink thanks to a bit of grapefruit juice which gives it a citrus-y kick.
Infused with rosemary simple syrup, this sweet and savory cocktail is perfect for warm-weather gatherings.
Get the Recipe: Rosemary Greyhound Cocktail
Grow This: Ginger
Ginger is the ultimate container plant. It's super low-maintenance, only needs partial sunlight and is even a great houseplant! If growing outdoors, plant in mid-late spring and bring indoors in autumn, as ginger isn't very tolerant of cold. When ready to harvest, you can use only what part of the root you need, then return the rest to the soil to continue growing.
Get Growing: How to Grow Ginger
Sip This: Ginger Cranberry Cocktail
Crushed frozen cranberries and homemade ginger simple syrup are a delicious combo in this fizzy, crowd-pleasing cocktail.
Get the Recipe: Ginger Cranberry Cocktail
Grow This: Cilantro
Cilantro has long been used to add a fresh, tangy kick to salsa, guac and other savory recipes, but did you know it's a yummy addition to cocktails, too? For continuous use, plant cilantro in a sunny spot in spring or fall and bring it indoors when temps start to rise in the summer.
Get Growing: How to Grow Cilantro
Sip This: Cilantro Mojitos
Expand your cilantro horizons with three refreshing mojitos: a pineapple cilantro mojito, jalapeño cilantro mojito and a classic cilantro mojito made from rich cilantro simple syrup.
Get the Recipe: Garden to Cocktail Cilantro Mojitos
Grow This: Tomatoes
Contrary to popular belief, tomatoes are surprisingly easy to grow. Plant in late spring after any threat of frost has passed, water regularly and feed weekly with a tomato fertilizer after the first fruits appear. To help ward off pests, try planting upside down in a hanging basket along with pest-repelling plants like basil or marigold.
Get Growing: How to Grow Tomatoes in Pots
Sip This: Wed Wabbit Cocktail
Whip up a batch of homemade tomato juice for this tomato + carrot cocktail any bunny would love.
Get the Recipe: Wed Wabbit Cocktail
Fresh Peach Bellini
Peaches are ready for the picking as early as May. And if you just can't wait, we've got the perfect starter sip. Four ingredients (fresh peaches, lemon juice, sugar and champagne) make this a sweet wake-up call. Get the Recipe >>
Orange Cream Mimosa
You can't just "wake up and make" this mimosa, but the time spent is well worth it. Homemade orange cream sorbet becomes the base of your mimosa. Top with champagne and watch the sorbet dissolve into a sea of bubbly bliss. Get the Recipe >>
Sparkling Grapefruit Cocktail
A twist on the classic mimosa, this drink pairs champagne with grapefruit juice, anise syrup and the herbal liqueur Campari to create brunch's newest companion. Get the Recipe >>