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 drunkenbotanist.com

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

See All Photos

Shop This Look

Keep Reading

Next Up

Homemade Liqueur Recipes

Much easier than making wine or brewing beer, homemade liqueurs put the garden to work.

Garden-Fresh Cocktail Recipes

Quench your thirst with punches, pops and other beverages made with ingredients from your garden.

Garden to Cocktail: Cilantro Mojitos

These three mojito recipes are for the cilantro-lovers. 

Botanical Punch Recipes

Put that mint and rosemary to work in these fruity punches, perfect for holiday entertaining.

A New Year's Eve Cocktail

Fresh berries add a splash of color to your champagne toast.

A Fennel-Based Cocktail Recipe

This garden-fresh take on the classic rickey cocktail can be made in single servings or in bulk for a spirited punch.

How to Infuse Liquor With Garden Ingredients

Bottle your garden with these delicious recipes.

Herbal Cocktail Recipe

Toast St. Patrick with goodies from the garden like basil and cucumber.

8 Cocktails Every Moscow Mule Lover Needs to Try

These variations on the classic cocktail are perfect for summertime sipping.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.