Herbs and spices in cocktails


Tasting notes:

The whole plant is aromatic. When rubbed, young stalks and leaves have a sweet, musky scent; the taste is musky and bittersweet, slightly earthy,and warm, with notes of celery, anise, and juniper. The flowers have a honeyed fragrance.

Combines well with:

almonds, apricots, hazelnuts, oranges, plums, rhubarb, strawberries 

Agastache or Anise Hyssop

Tasting Notes:

anise hyssop has a sweet, anise aroma and flavour; it has a natural sweetness, unlike many herbs that taste bitter when tasted alone.

Combines well with:

apricots, blueberries, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries


Tasting notes:

Sweet basil has a complex sweet, spicy aroma with notes of clove and anise. The flavour is warm peppery and clove like with underlying mint and anise tones.

Other basil varieties:

Purple basil, Bush basil, lettuce basil, and “Ruffles basils, Cinnamon basil, African blue basil, Thai basil, Holy basil, Licorice basil, Lemon basil, Lime basil

Combines well with:

lemons and limes, tomatoes, mint, cinnamon

Cocktail Recipe: “Bloody Gazpacho”

o 50ml Absolut Vodka
o 4 Basil Leafs
o 1/2 Inch of Cucumber
o 100ml Fresh Tomato juice
o Dash Balsamic vinegar
o 6 Drops of Tabasco
o 4 Dashes Worcestershire sauce
o 1/2 shot Fresh lemon juice
o 2 pinch Minced garlic
o 2 pinch Ground pepper
o 2 pinch Celery salt

Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled Collins glass, garnish with basil.


Tasting notes:

The whole plant has a distinctive citrus aroma. The flavour is citrus with an added warm, spicy note. Flowers are more delicately flavoured than the leaves.

Combines well with:

Apples, kiwi fruit, melon, citrus fruits, papaya, strawberries


     Tasting Notes:

The aroma is strong but mellow, fruity, and penetrating. The taste is lemony and flowery, with note of camphor or eucalyptus due to cineole in the essential oil; it is pungent and smoky, with a warm, bittersweet note, yet is also clean and fresh.

Combines well with:

Apples, oranges, pears, coffee

Cocktail Recipe: “Pear & Cardamom Sidecar”

o 3 Cardamoms
o 25ml Xante
o 25ml Cointreau
o 25ml Lemon juice

Crush the cardamoms and muddle with the rest of the ingredients, shake over ice and double strain in to a martini glass.


Tasting Notes:

Cinnamon has a warm, agreeably sweet, woody aroma that is delicate yet intense; the taste is fragrant and warm with hints of clove and citrus.

The presence of eugenol in the essential oil distinguishes cinnamon from cassia, giving it the note of clove. Could be used as a Syrup

Combines well with:

Almonds, apples, apricots, chocolate, coffee, pears, bananas.

Corriander or Cilantro

Tasting Notes:

Leaves, roots, and unripe seeds all have the same aroma. Some people are addicted to its refreshing lemony-ginger aroma wit notes of sage; others hate it and find it soapy and disagreeable. The flavor is delicate yet complex, with a suggestion of pepper, mint, and lemon.

Combines well with:

Avocados, coconut milk, cucumber, lemons and limes, lemon grass, mint, ginger

Corriander Seeds

Tasting Notes:

Ripe seeds have a sweet, woody, spicy fragrance with peppery and floral notes; the taste is weet, mellow, and warm with a clear hint of orange peel.

Combines well with:

Apples, citrus fruits, plums, cinnamon, ginger


Tasting Notes:

Very aromatic when crushed young leaves. Leaves are pleasantly pungent flavour backed by strong notes of menthol and citrus. Also slightly sweet, tangy, and spicy with a fresh cool aftertaste. Leaves can be used to make infusions and syrups.

Combines well with:
limes and lemons, apples, chocolate, mint, honey

Cocktail recipe: “Eucalyptus Martini”
o 25ml Eucalyptus syrup
o 25ml lime juice
o 12.5ml Cointreau
o 50ml Miller’s Gin
o 3 drops of egg white

Shake over ice and double strain into a martini glass.

Garnish: with 1 eucalyptus leaf floating

Ginger Root

Tasting Notes:

Fresh ginger has a rich and warm aroma with a refreshing, woody note and sweet, citrus undertones. The flavour is hot, tangy, and has a bite. Rhizomes harvested young are milder and less fibrous than those harvested later in the season.Could be used as a syrup, or simply be muddled.

Combines well with :

coconut, lime juice, lemon juice, mint, lemon grass

Ginger Cocktails:

* Big Brew
* Cape Samurai
* Chadwick
* Charmides
* Devil’s Handshake
* East Side Press
* Ginger Mary
* Ginger Mist
* Ginger Snap Martini
* Ginger Tea
* Kumquat-Ginger Caipirinha
* Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
* Manhattan 101
* May Day
* PAMA Ginger-tini
* Red Over Heels
* Rocky Mountain Ginger Crisp
* Soho
* Stoli Alibi
* Tom Yang Light Martini
* Wassail

Kaffir Lime

Tasting Notes:

Leaves have an explosive fragrance, cleanly floral and citrus- not quite lemon, not quite lime. Their aroma and flavor are assertive and lingering, yet delicate. The rind of the fruit is slightly bitter with a strong citrus note. Dried leaves and dried rind lack the intense aroma of fresh.

Combines well with:

Coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, anise


Tasting Notes:

Lavender has a penetrating, sweetly floral, and spicy aroma with lemon and mint notes; the taste echoes the aroma with undertones of camphor and a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste. The flowers have the strongest fragrance, but leaves can also be used.Can be used as a syrup.

Combines well with:

Blackberries, blueberries, cherries, damsons, mulberries, plums, strawberries, rhubarb

Cocktail recipe: “Paulista”

o 12 blueberries
o 20ml Lavender syrup
o 12.5ml Blueberry liqueur
o 25ml lime juice
o 50ml Beija-Flor Velha Cachaca

Shake over ice and double strain into a martini glass. Glass rimmed with lavender sugar.

Lemon Balm

Tasting Notes:

When crushed the young leaves have a fresh, lingering, lemon scent and a mild lemon-mint flavor. The aroma is subtle and pleasant, and not as penetrating as that of lemon verbena or lemongrass.

Combines well with:

Apples, apricots, melons, peaches, figs and summer berries

                                                                                Cocktail Recipe: “Mount Balm Smash”

Glass: old fashioned glass


o 8 Lemon Balm leaves
o 25ml apple juice
o 25ml Fig puree
o 50ml Mount Gay Rum

Method: Muddle the leafs with the fig puree in an old fashioned glass, add the rum, stir and add crushed ice.
Garnish: with lemon balm leafs

Lemon Verbena

Tasting Notes:

Lemon Verbena as an intense, fresh lemon aroma. The taste echoes the aroma but is less strong; it is more lemony than a lemon, but lacks the tartness. The aroma of dried leaves is retained for up to a year.

Combines well with:

Apricots, lemons and limes, mint, coriander

Cocktail Recipe: “Verbena Martini”

o 12 Lemon Verbena leafs
o 12.5ml Apricot liqueur
o 50ml Tanqueray gin
o 12.5ml Vanilla syrup
o 25ml Apricot juice/puree

Shake over ice and strain into a martini glass.

Garnish: with 2 lemon verbena leaves


Tasting notes:

The flavor is refreshingly tart, clean and citrus-like with peppery notes. Freeze-dried lemongrass keeps its aroma quit well, but air-dried lemon grass loses its volatile oils; grated lemon rind gives more flavor than dried lemongrass.

Combines well with:

Peaches, pears and other fruits, ginger, chillies, cucumber, cinnamon, coconut milk


Tasting Notes:

Spearmint is mellow and refreshing, with a sweet sharp, pleasantly pungent flavour backed by hints of lemon. Peppermint has pronounced menthol notes and a fiery bite, yet is also slightly sweet, tangy, and spicy with a fresh cool aftertaste.

Other Mint Varieties:

Moroccan mint, Bowles mint, Apple mint, Chocolate mint, Black peppermint, Mountain mint, Pineapple mint, Basil mint, Tashkent mint, Corn mint, Grapefruit mint, Ginger mint, Pennyroyal, Lemon mint, Lime mint

Combines well with:

limes, lemons and another fruits, basil, pepper, chocolate , ginger, eucalyptus

Cocktails Using Mint: Mojito, Mint Julep

Pomegranate Seeds

Tasting notes:
The seeds are fleshy and taste both sweet and acidic. Middle eastern pomegranates tend to be sweeter than those grown in India, which can have a slightly bitter aftertaste.The juice varies in color from a light pink to a deep red, it is sweet but with a refreshing sharpness.

Combines well with:

Avocado, cucumber, cinnamon, walnuts, cardamoms, ginger


Tasting Notes:

Strongly aromatic, warm and peppery, resinous and slightly bitter, with notes of pine and camphor. Nutmeg and camphor are present in the taste; the aftertaste is woody, balsamic, and astringent. The flavor dissipates after leaves are cut. Flowers have a milder flavor than leaves.

Combines well with:

Apricots, oranges, tomatoes, Can be used as a syrup or just simple muddling the leaves.

Cocktail Recipe: “Gasper Love’s Rosemary”

o 25ml Rosemary syrup
o 25ml Grand Marnier
o 50ml Campari
o 30ml Blood orange
o 30ml Grapefruit juice
Shake over ice and pour in to a Collins glass and garnish with rosemary.


Tasting Notes:

The leaves are sweetly aromatic, with hints of pine, anise, or liquorice; the flavor is strong yet subtle, with spicy anise and basil notes and a sweetish aftertaste.
A syrup can be made from Tarragon, or just the herb can be muddled.

Combines well with:
citrus fruits, chocolate, basil, tomato juice

Vanilla Bean

Tasting Notes:

Fresh vanilla pods have no aroma or taste. After fermentation they develop a rich, mellow, intensely perfumed aroma with hints of liquorice or tobacco matched by a delicate, sweetly fruity or creamy flavour. There may also be hints of raisin or prune, or smoky, spicy notes.Could be used as a syrup.

Combines well with:

Apples, melon, peaches, rhubarb, strawberries

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