Grow Your Own Cocktails

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LEMONY LEAVES

Citrus trees are great if you have the space, but you can also use homegrown lemon verbena to add lemon flavor to your drinks. “It’s flavorful, aromatic, and hard to find in stores,” says H. Joseph Ehrmann, owner of Elixir in San Francisco, where he’s planted several old wine barrels with herbs, a few citrus trees, grapes, and even blueberry bushes. Ehrmann pairs the lemony-floral verbena with tequila and mezcal, and suggests capitalizing on your harvest by concocting an infused rich simple syrup made with a handful of leaves, a cup of water, and two cups of sugar, boiled three to five minutes, cooled, and then strained. Scott Beattie, author of Artisanal Cocktails, suggests muddling a few leaves with mint and cucumber as the base for a garden-y riff on a classic Tom Collins. Next: Pretty ’em up >>
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