Create A Cocktail Garden

"The Drunken Botanist" author Amy Stewart shares secrets for a garden full of cocktail-ready ingredients. 

Photo By: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Photo By: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Photo By: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Photo By: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Photo By: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Photo By: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Photo By: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Photo By: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Photo By: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Photo By: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Photo By: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Photo By: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Photo By: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Simple Syrup All-Stars

These cocktail garden planter boxes are full of ingredients ready to jump into the glass. Shiso, rosemary, thyme and lavender fill out this space. "The best way to get a little lavender flavor in a cocktail is to make a simple syrup with it," The Drunken Botanist author Amy Stewart writes. 

Cocktail Garden Design

Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist, asked Susan Morrison of Creative Exteriors Landscape Design to maximize her small space. "Susan is a cocktail aficionado and an expert in small-space gardening," Stewart writes.

Small But Mighty

Worried about not having enough space? Much of Stewart's garden is only 7 feet wide. 

Bottle Color

These bottles of violet liqueur inspired "The Drunken Botanist" author Amy Stewart's cocktail garden color scheme. 


"This is a fancier version of a 'pallet garden,'" Stewart says of her strawberry and nasturium planters. "I've added trim to dress it up and some bits of Victorian gingerbread on top from an antiques salvage place." 

Inside (and Outside) the Planter Box

Stewart fills her planter boxes full of edible flowers she uses in infusions and garnishes. Here she has scented geraniums, lavender, Rosa rogusa and golden oregano just outside and beneath the box. 

Planter Box Bar

Stewart's handmade planter box bar is a genius idea for the cocktail enthusiast-slash-gardener. 'Black Lace' elderberry grows behind the bar and jasmine grows on the fence.     


Stewart uses calendula for syrups, infusions and even as a garnish. "The advantage of calendula is that it isn't colorfast," Stewart writes. "The bright orange hue will actually seep into the vodka or simple syrup." 


Rhubarb makes many appearances in Stewart's cocktails in the form of syrup, bitters and liqueurs. "There is no special trick to planting rhubarb," Stewart writes. "Just give it some sunlight, plenty of compost and choose a permanent spot, because rhubarb doesn't like to get moved around." 

Pomegranate for Grenadine

"Growing a pomegranate tree just so you can make your own grenadine may sound like a completely crazy idea, but there actually are dwarf varieties that could be nursed along in a large container and sheltered through the winter," Stewart writes. She suggests the 'Nana' and "State Fair' varieties. 

Black Pansy Garnish

Stewart uses black pansies to garnish her drinks. "Make a very thin slice of lemon or lime and cut a pansy so that a little bit of the stem is attached to the flower," she writes. "Pull the stem through that little space in the center of the citrus slice and float that in a cocktail glass." 

Herbs At The Ready

Stewart's Triolife planter is filled with cilantro, basil, mint and edible flowers. According to Stewart, it's perfect on a table "for easy access at parties." 

Miniature Gherkin Cucumbers

Stewart uses miniature gherkin cucumbers for garnishes. Try her Gherkintini: Muddle 1.5 ounces of gin with sour gherkin cucumbers. Add ½ ounce of dry vermouth, shake over ice, strain into a martini glass and garnish with a miniature gherkin cucumber. 

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