and Amber Turpin
Perfect for herbal, fruity cocktails
Here’s a little secret—we never make this syrup the same way twice. Every year the garden is slightly different, and as the seasons shift and dance, each week reveals new peaks of ripeness. The sage blooms and fades, the hyssop comes on slow and steady and the rose geranium sprawls across the path, just so. Wander the garden or the farmers’ market and pick what looks most green, most flowery, most succulent. Herb and fruit pairings are suggested below, but truly, this syrup is a formula for cocktail success no matter the season. Drink it with friends, for the ultimate summer pairing.
3–4 lemons and limes
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 small bunch fresh, mixed garden herbs (choose 3–4 of the following: lemon grass, hyssop, basil, lemon verbena, rosemary, thyme, savory, lavender, black sage, rose geranium, tarragon)
Wash and quarter the citrus, leaving peel on. In small saucepan, heat the water and stir the sugar in to dissolve. Add the quartered citrus. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, using a potato masher to muddle the citrus periodically. Remove from heat, add the herbs and allow to steep as the syrup cools, about 15 minutes.
Strain the herbs and citrus from the cooled syrup and discard. Place syrup in the refrigerator to chill (can be stored for a week).
Prepare the other ingredients for your cocktail. In a shaker, place ice, 1½ ounces spirit of choice,* 2 ounces Summer Garden Syrup and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
Pour cocktail into glass, up or over ice. Garnish with two slices, spears or chunks of fruit of choice* and a sprig of garden herb. If you want to be real fancy, freeze melon cubes and use the frozen fruit in place of ice cubes. Enjoy!
*Note: Some suggested spirit/fruit combinations are:
Tequila Blanco / Watermelon / Summer Garden Syrup
Venus Spirits Summer Gin (flavor profile of juniper, pineapple, passion fruit and tiki spices) / Peach or Nectarine / Summer Garden Syrup
St. George Aqua Perfecta Basil Eau de Vie / Honeydew Melon / Summer Garden Syrup
Mocktail / Fruit / Summer Garden Syrup / Sparkling Water
Jessica Tunis lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains and spends her time tending gardens, telling stories, and cultivating adventure and good food in wild places.