Garden to glass: Fresh summer cocktails to make at home

(BPT) - Nothing says summer better than sipping a fresh, seasonal cocktail while you relax with family or a few friends. And what do you need to craft the perfect warm-weather cocktail? Follow two simple steps:

1. Select the perfect foundation

Start with a versatile base spirit that can serve as the star of your drink — one that will complement the local, seasonal ingredients you will add to the cocktail. The Botanist Gin is the perfect foundation to your seasonal cocktail because it is distilled from a unique combination of hand-foraged, sustainably sourced botanicals that complement a wide range of flavor profiles, whether sweet, citrus, herbal, floral or aromatic. These 22 botanicals are all hand-foraged on the isle of Islay off the west coast of Scotland, giving The Botanist a unique flavor that is like an exploration of this wild island in a glass.

2. Source fresh ingredients locally

Once you have your base spirit selected, gather seasonal summer ingredients to give your cocktails a fresh burst of flavor. Consider supporting local growers by visiting a nearby farmer’s market or explore growing some of your own ingredients at home. For an easy way to always have fresh ingredients on hand, consider signing up for a local CSA box — you'll always have new produce to experiment with in cocktails. Ingredients that are perfect for making cocktails include fruits such as berries and melons, plus fresh herbs like mint, thyme and basil.

Here are a few new summer cocktails you can try making and enjoying at home:

Fresh from the Market

The classic combination of fresh strawberries and mint is super refreshing on a hot day. Use a couple of extra mint leaves to create a beautiful garnish on top.

Ingredients:

1.5 ounces The Botanist Gin

.5 ounce honey syrup (1:1 honey to water)

.5 ounce fresh lemon juice

2-3 strawberries (halved)

3-5 fresh mint leaves

2 ounces sparkling water

Directions:

Add honey syrup and strawberries to a shaker and muddle.

Add the gin, lemon juice, mint and ice, then shake.

Fine strain over ice and top with sparkling water.

Basil Blues

Blueberries and basil are a surprisingly tasty duo that melds beautifully with the balanced flavor of the gin.

Ingredients:

1.5 ounces The Botanist Gin

.75 ounce fresh lemon juice

.75 ounce simple syrup

5 blueberries

3 fresh basil leaves

Directions:

Add simple syrup and blueberries to a shaker and muddle.

Add the remaining ingredients and ice, then shake.

Fine strain over ice, or serve neat. Garnish with basil leaves and blueberries.

It’s Pepper Thyme

For a unique flavor with a refreshing burst of lime, pick up a yellow bell pepper or two and create this one-of-a-kind cocktail.

Ingredients:

1.5 ounces The Botanist Gin

.75 ounce fresh lime juice

.75 ounce yellow bell pepper syrup

Fresh thyme leaves (optional)

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a shaker. Add ice, shake and strain over ice.

Garnish with a lime wedge or slice, and fresh thyme leaves (optional).

How to make yellow bell pepper syrup:

Slice one large yellow bell pepper and blend together with 12 ounces of simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water). Fine strain and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Enjoy the warm days of summer with the perfect cocktails for any occasion. Check out TheBotanist.com or @thebotanistgin on Instagram to find more recipe ideas and cocktail inspiration. Need to stock up on spirits? Visit Drizly.com.

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