You have a fully stocked home bar with a wide selection of liquor, beer, wine, bitters and juices. There are very few cocktails you can't make. You even have a selection of nuts and pretzels to munch on. But you're still missing a few key ingredients. Fresh garnishes! It's hard for home bartenders to keep these ingredients on hand. The good news is, you can grow some of these ingredients around your house, or even in the window by your bar.
Many people don't know this, but strawberries grow very well indoors! You can use these tasty little morsels for a wide variety of drinks. Not the least of which, is the Strawberry Daquiri. You can plant them in a medium-sized pot and keep them on a windowsill. They will need 6 hours of sunlight, so be sure to choose a sunny spot. Make sure to keep the top layer of soil nice and moist but not soaking wet.
Used for Mojitos, Juleps, and the occasional Gimlet, the mint leaf is a versatile ingredient and garnish. Another plant that is easy to grow indoors, the most important thing for your mint is good drainage. Place a handful of rocks at the bottom of the pot and make sure you put a drain pan under it to catch excess water. Place it in indirect light and keep the soil evenly moist. Nothing beats a Mojito with fresh-grown mint leaves!
A beautiful garnish and an added treat in a Bloody Mary, rosemary is a hardy plant that will grow almost anywhere. Plant it in a large pot or garden bed where it will get plenty of light. In more temperate climates, certain varieties of rosemary will grow into large shrubs. This green delight is also excellent in a gin and tonic. For maximum flavor, bruise (but don't muddle) the leaves and drop the whole sprig in your favorite drink.
If you've ever had a Lemon Verbena Gimlet, then you know that this one is essential. Experts say to grow this one in a pot that you can bring in when winter comes. This citrusy plant needs full, bright sun to thrive. Trim regularly and use the leaves in an Old Fashioned or to add a new layer to a vodka and tonic.
Bonus: Verbena & Mint
One of our favorite drinks, the Verbena & Mint combines two of these great ingredients into one magnificent cocktail. To begin, take 3 parts sugar and 1 part lemon verbena leaves, add a couple pieces of lemon zest and grind it all together in a spice grinder. Add water and heat to make lemon verbena simple syrup. Pour 1/2oz of the syrup over 5-6 mint leaves and muddle thoroughly. Add 2oz of your favorite gin, 1 oz of lime juice and pour over ice. This cool refreshing drink is perfectly complemented by a copper mug with a couple mint and lemon verbena sprigs to garnish.