These days, we all look for a good way to refresh ourselves and fresh, home-made drinks are the perfect thing to do so. Especially if we can make something that includes the fruits of our labour in the garden. It’s so pleasing to make something on your own and not buy it, right? It’s also much tastier and much healthier, and it makes you feel a bit like an alchemist, which is cool. We shouldn’t forget the bragging part as well – every self-respected gardener brags with his creations, whether it’s a plant or a drink. It’s just what we do.
Lately, everyone started to grow their own herbs, not because it’s fashionable – well, maybe a bit – but mostly because self-grown herbs have a stronger scent and taste. And herbal drinks are perfect for those summer days when temperatures break all records, and the sun sucks out every drop of liquid there is on earth. So, we’ve decided to pick out for you the most refreshing summer drinks you could make with the herbs you plan to grow.
#1 Herbal mocktail
Don’t let the not so creative name of this drink mislead you. The recipe is quite exotic, with herbs that are local, but it’s open for interpretations as well. You can use various types of ingredients to serve as a base and you can change the herbs, depending on their availability. And if that didn’t win you, then the health benefits that this summer drink possess will do. The herbs in the recipe are oregano, holy basil, and betel leaf.
- Oregano. Quite easy to grow, oregano needs almost no care. The things it requires, though, are full sun and loose soil mix. Drainage is important, so you need to grow it in a spot where you can control the amount of water. A container will do the job just fine. Water frequently but don’t overdo it. Harvest the herb just before it blooms.
- Holy basil. Again, this plant loves sunlight very much, but it loves water as well. You’ll need to water it two times a day for the first two weeks. Your goal is damp soil. Keep the watering regular and when the plant reaches 4 inches, you can start to pick the leaves.
- Betel leaf. Okay, this is a difficult herb to grow. You can buy betel leaf from the market and root the plant yourself quite easily – remove the leaves and put it in a glass of water. When it forms roots, you can transplant it to a pot. And here’s the tricky part – betel leaf is a tropical plant, so you’ll need to place it on a sunny spot and water it with warm water. And even this may not be enough. Make sure you clean the leaves from dust in order for the plant to absorb the sunlight as much as it can.
#2 Lemon, Ginger & Lavender “Hot Toddy”
The thing about this one is that it is both extremely creative and utterly strange with the garlic that’s in the recipe. Yes. You’ve read that right. The garlic clove is supposed to add a spicy note, and we are sure it does its job perfectly. The cool thing about this herbal drink is that it’s great for summer and for winter as well. Adding a bunch of ice will make it great for the hot days to come. And lavender is quite a fool-proof plant to grow. It loves almost all types of soil, lots of sunlight and can manage well without constant watering. If you are going to grow it in a pot, you should aim for a large one.
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#3 Cranberry, Tangerine, Rosemary & Cream soda mocktail
Just the effort of saying the name can make you thirsty as hell. A great combo that should be served in every bar, at least in our opinion. It certainly does look like a drink you should pay for. But no. You can make this herbal drink with stuff you probably have in the fridge at this very moment. And, of course, using fresh grown rosemary from your herbal corner.
Rosemary is quite popular and can thrive in almost any conditions. Nevertheless, we advise you to buy a small plant and continue to cultivate it on your own, rather than grow one from a seed. Again, rosemary prefers larger containers if you’re going to grow it in one. The plant can grow up to a meter in height with long, deep roots. Water frequently during the summer months and you shouldn’t have any problems.
#4 Fizzy Herbed Pineapple limeade
Honestly, it has everything you need to drop your body temperature with 10 degrees. Wait! We’ve got an even better idea – add some vanilla ice-cream in the cup before pouring the drink and enjoy the combination. The herbs included in the drink are mint and basil.
This easy to grow herb is preferred by the gardeners because of its heavenly scent. If you want to grow a healthy plant, consider fertile and well-drained soil for a good start. Moisture is the key thing, so the plant can bear with shadow for the sake of water. The important thing to know is that when the plant starts to flower, its leaves stop growing, which is bad for harvesting the herb as you need the leaves. In order to slow down this process, you need to remove the flowers from the mint plant.
This herb needs sunlight so much that we advise you to grow it in a container. This way you can move it indoors if the weather forces you. If you plant it from seeds, you need to remember that after the seedlings grow for about three weeks, you need to remove the weaker ones.
#5 Blackberry, Lemon & Thyme soda
If you’re more of a sweets person, then this one is for you. It even looks like a jello with candies in it, and maybe the thyme is there just to confuse us that it’s actually healthy. Joke aside, the thyme in this herbal drink is one of the most preferable herbs to grow, especially in containers. Growing this herb from a seed can take a long time. Other options are from cuttings, root divisions, or buying a small plant for which you can continue to take care of. Take a note that thyme doesn’t need much watering and can manage quite well without feeding. You can harvest the herb throughout the year, but the leaves are more scented during the middle of summer.