How to Grow a Cocktail Garden

"The Drunken Botanist" shares secrets for a garden full of cocktail-ready ingredients.
Bottle Color

Bottle Color

These bottles of violet liqueur inspired Stewart's cocktail garden color scheme. 

Photo by: Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

Image courtesy of Amy Stewart

These bottles of violet liqueur inspired Stewart's cocktail garden color scheme. 

You'd think Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks and co-founder of the popular garden blog GardenRant, would have a massive cocktail garden with square footage for every fig tree, raspberry bush and cilantro plant imaginable. 

In reality, the side-yard space outside her Victorian home in Humboldt County, California—where temps rarely rise above 70 degrees—is 45 feet long by seven feet wide. And within that she has everything from lemongrass and Mexican sour gherkin cucumber to strawberries, Thai basil, 'Redventure' celery, Johnny jump-ups, pineapple sage and 'Black Lace' elderflower with rhubarb underneath.

Oh, and did we mention the vertical planter made out of an old wooden medicine cabinet or the bar with a built-in planter?

"I didn't have the heart to throw out an old rhododendron that had been with the house forever, but other than that, every single thing is drinkable and mixable," Stewart says on her blog

Like any other garden, cocktail gardens require planning and care. But the joy of walking out into it, snapping off some lemongrass and muddling the stalks into drinks to deepen the citrus flavor makes every step between sketches and sloe (the fruit used in sloe gin) worth it.  

Check out the photos below for a look at Stewart's side-yard masterpiece and start planning your own cocktail garden: 

Cocktail Garden Design

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