Last season I built a cocktail garden that was my favorite garden ever – it smelled of herbs and wonderfulness all season long. I have used that garden build as inspiration for several container gardens. Territorial Seed Company and Amy Stewart have partnered and put together The Drunken Botanist Plant Collection based on Amy’s super-cool book, The Drunken Botanist. Territorial sent me lots of cool plants from the collection which means, of course, that I had herbs growing all over the danged place just waiting for some rum or vodka or gin to make’em a recipe taste sensation.
What cocktail garden plants to use –
While the walkway and surrounding area around the patio have lots of herbs, the containers were also filled with some very unique plants just for cocktail making; Redventure Celery, Chocolate Mint, Mojito Mint, and Variegated Greek Oregano (purchased at Planters Palette Nursery). These herbs were mixed ornamental perennials such as with Heucherella ‘Sunrise Falls’ and Heuchera ‘Blondie’ from Terra Nova Nurseries (see photos).
Your cocktail container garden is only restricted by your imagination. I threw the plants in with the tallest in the middle and the shortest on the sides with a random willy-nilly design that turned out beautifully. And the cocktail making was fun – I made Mojito’s with the mint and to-die-for Bloody Mary’s with my celery. For a great adventure, follow Amy’s lead and plant a Meyer lemon tree. Amy has a fantastic list of her favorite plants and cocktails on the Territorial Seed Company site if you want some terrific recipes. Here’s a LINK. In the meantime, enjoy one of her favorite concoctions discovered on the site; a magical improvement on the traditional Lemon Drop Martini (below).
Meyer Improved Lemon Drop Recipe
1.5 oz Hangar One Citron ‘Buddha’s Hand’ or Mandarin Blossom Vodka
.5 oz Cointreau
.5 oz Meyer lemon juice
Splash of sparkling wine
1 thin lemon slice
1 pansy with a small bit of stem attached.
Optional sugar for rim
Do the sugar rim if you are so inclined. Shake the first three ingredients over ice and pour into a martini glass. Slowly pour sparkling wine on top so it floats. (Segura Viudas cava, a Spanish brut, works well and is available in small, single-serving bottles.) Run the pansy stem through the center of the lemon slice and float that in the drink.