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8 Cocktail Recipes Fresh From the Garden

by
author image Dan Dunn
Dan Dunn is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading wine and spirits experts. He is the author of four books, and his work has appeared in Playboy, GQ, Food & Wine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, USA Today, Maxim, LA Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine and the LA Times.

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8 Cocktail Recipes Fresh From the Garden
Amber Burrahm

As more and more people wisely continue to steer clear of processed foods and trans fats, communities across the country are seeing a rise in specialty stores and outdoor markets that offer fresh, locally sourced fare. This is good news for local economies, the environment and, most of all, our health. Of course, sometimes even the staunchest slow foodies get a hankering for a good drink. Fortunately, the farm-to-table movement has found a seat at the bar. We called upon some of America’s top mixologists for craft-cocktail recipes that combine garden freshness with a little bit of booziness. Read on to find an adult beverage that’s ideal for your next summer soiree.

1. Strawberry Crush
Amber Burrahm

1 STRAWBERRY CRUSH

Joshua Yerkey, bar manager at EMC Seafood & Raw Bar in Los Angeles, had his devoted raw bar patrons in mind when he invented this sweet-and-tart concoction, which he offers as an ideal companion for a tray of savory Blue Points and Kumamotos. The mildly aromatic Few American Gin plays well with all of the bright garden flavors in this cocktail, and sparkling rose adds some zing.

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

2. World’s Fair
Amber Burrahm

2 WORLD’S FAIR

When creating cocktails for one of the most popular eateries on the west side of Los Angeles, bar manager Adam George Fournier makes it a point to always use delicious seasonal produce he buys himself at the local farmers market (which just happens to be the largest in Southern California). In this creation, he uses fresh cucumber and dill to coax refreshing and summery notes from a vivacious single-malt Scotch whisky-based cocktail.

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

3. Rosemary Royale
Amber Burrahm

3 ROSEMARY ROYALE

Thanks in large part to the so-called brunch movement that is so pervasive in big cities from coast to coast, wine-based cocktails, or spritzers, are more popular than ever. At New York’s Saxon + Parole (which does a brisk brunch business), head bartender Maxime Belfand’s riff on the classic kir royale swaps out the berry liqueur for an herbaceous rosemary honey to create an earthier alternative. The addition of white rum gives it a sweet and summery kick.

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

4. Melone Faraglion
Amber Burrahm

4 MELONE FARAGLION

Popular Los Angeles hotspot Warwick undergoes a redesign every season. One of our favorite themes was inspired by the Italian island of Capri. “When I think of the Italian coast,” says bartender Jason Bran, “one of the most iconic images is that of the Faraglioni rocks. I wanted to build a cocktail that replaced traditional ice cubes with one towering cube, which led me to the popsicle, a play on the Faraglioni.” The taste is light, crisp and refreshing -- very appropriate for summer!

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

5. Desert Wildfire
Amber Burrahm

5 DESERT WILDFIRE

Living in the Coachella Valley, bartender Joseph Kwiatkowski devotes a great deal of time and energy to researching desert plants and finding ways to incorporate them into the delicious cocktails he makes. “We have so much growing wild here that sometimes all it takes to find a new inspiration is to take a few steps outside your front door,” says Kwiatkowski. For this twist on the French 75, he and fellow mixologist Heather Huettl combined honey sourced from the nearby Living Desert Zoo and Gardens with desert sage to create an ambrosial herbal syrup. Those flavors play well with the raspberry, peach and Turkish rose notes in the gin.

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

6. Gates of Eden
Amber Burrahm

6 GATES OF EDEN

At Hollywood’s Sassafras, bar program director Karen Grill’s New Orleans-inspired selection pays homage to Southern flavor and history. She breathes new life to familiar favorites by using house-made jams, shrubs and cordials. The Gates of Eden is a light summer-style sour cocktail with a velvety texture designed to refresh during the hotter months. The Ford’s Gin is a London dry-style gin that pairs beautifully with marjoram and the sweet apricot liqueur. This is an ideal day-drinking aperitif meant to be enjoyed outdoors.

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

7. Garden Bellini
Amber Burrahm

7 GARDEN BELLINI

When reality star Whitney Port asked celebrated Los Angeles-based cocktail maestro Adrian Biggs to create a light, fresh and bubbly drink for her wedding celebration, he went into his garden for inspiration. Port gave a big green thumbs-up to Biggs’ variation on the classic Bellini. The sweetness of the peach holds sway, with the arugula and rosemary adding just a hint of greenhouse goodness.

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

8. Cirrus
Amber Burrahm

8 CIRRUS

Back in 2005, mixologist Josh Curtis played bass guitar in a band fronted by John Denver’s widow, Cassandra, at a benefit concert for U.S. troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. “I had not seen Cassandra since then,” says Curtis. Until recently, that is, when she visited Curtis at Shutters on the Beach, where he was the star bartender at a weekly boîte event. He wowed his former lead singer with this combination of apples, tequila and basil. “She took one sip,” he says, “and said, ‘Let’s get the band back together!’”

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

What Do YOU Think?
Amber Burrahm

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

What are some of your favorite summer cocktail drinks? Do you ever incorporate fresh herbs or flowers? Are there any on the list that you think you’ll try? Let us know in the comments below.

Related: 10 Incredible Garlic Hacks

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