Herbs and cocktails: which ones should I use and how to use them
Herbs and spices bring freshness and robust flavors to meals, and the same is true for cocktails.
Using fresh, aromatic herbs in your cocktails will provide characteristics that will transform your cocktails. For example, complexity and depth; two features that are often difficult to provide with bitters and syrups, according to mixologist Jason Pollard.
Cocktails like Mint Julep is a good example to identify what a fresh herb brings to the drink. It doesn’t matter what flavor the herb will bring, sweet, tasty, salty and even sour. Herbs will give your drinks an unexpected twist. Also, herbal syrups made from these herbs will bring significant features to cocktails.
5 herbs to use in your cocktails
Sage can be used to create a syrup. Its smell of pine and its particular taste of sage give warmth to any element. Sage based syrup will bring a sweetness to the earth that marries with citrus flavors.
Cardamom is derived from two types: green, which is more citrus, and black, which is smoked. Thanks to the acidic flavor of green cardamom which is both sweet and spicy, we provide a complement to a variety of cocktails. On the other hand, black cardamom with its taste reminiscent of menthol combines well with black spirits such as whiskey and even tea. In addition, the herbal taste of cardamom, makes this herb a perfect ingredient for making tinctures and syrups.
Lavender’s floral notes provide a balance between savory/salty and sweet, which can add sparkle to any cocktail. Its floral, aromatic and subtle profile will give more depth to the flavors of spirits such as gin. In general, lavender will amplify a spectrum of flavors like Italicus, a bergamot-based liqueur.
Dill is a creamy herb with a warm grass smell and an aniseed-like taste. Its powerful flavor may not be the first that comes to mind for a cocktail. However, you will always find it in a bartender’s herb cupboard. A perfect ingredient for pairing dill is cucumber, as it is necessary to combine this herb with neutral and cold flavors. Honey and avocado will also create a good combination.
This herb will combine perfectly with spirits such as rye whiskey. Indeed, dill will soften the spicy points characteristic of rye whiskey.
From the same mint family, basil, an essential herb, is part of many world cuisines. There are about 60 varieties of basil but all of them keep their typical taste: sweet and peppery. This versatile herb will allow us to use it to create syrups or to decorate our cocktails with a couple of leaves.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.