Adding Herbs to Your Favorite Cocktails

When thinking of cocktails, many people focus on the alcohol that they include. Although alcohol is one of the major ingredients, it’s possible to take yours up a notch by adding a variety of other ingredients. Additions like garnishes, adornments for the rim of the glass, herb-infused syrups, and bitters may all alter the taste and flavor of your favorite cocktails. 

Herbs are still the most underrated ingredient, however. The best part is that you don’t have to be specially trained in order to create a marvellous custom herbed cocktail or mocktail. You can add several popular herbs to cocktails, and many of them can even be grown in your home garden, then added to your favorite drinks. Foodal put together a massive list of herbs and spices and many of these can be added to cocktails for flavour. We’ve also detailed some of the more common ones below. 


Mint is cool, refreshing, and commonly used in cocktails. Its flavor is sweet and often tastes mildly of lemon, so it blends nicely with many other common cocktail ingredients. You can mix it with lemon or use a lemon-flavored mint variety to give your drink a citrusy flavor or combine mint with lavender to add a floral accent to your beverages. Consider crushing mint leaves into drinks like juleps and mojitos. Pair mint varieties like pineapple mint or chocolate mint with berries, ginger, melon, or fruit like peaches. If you mix mint with water and sugar to create a simple syrup, you’ll find that it’s easier than ever to add a minty sweet kick to your favorite cocktail. 


There are many varieties of rosemary available. This herb blends best in beverages that have a sweet, citrus flavor because it is a hearty, savory herb. 

No matter the variety, rosemary provides a rich warming flavor that can add zesty appeal to berries, citrus, and other fruits, especially when it’s mixed with gin, vodka, or sparkling wine. Rosemary can be added to the drink muddled or whole and adds its own depth to your beverage. Lemon verbena is also a great way to add a bold citrus flavor to your cocktails – consider adding it to fruity drinks, sangrias, lemon drop martinis, or vodka lemonades. 


There are several types of basil available to add to cocktails – lemon basil, sweet basil, and tulsi basil, for starters. Sweet basil has a full, complex, sweet flavor bouquet, while lemon basil has its own powerful lemon flavor. Thai basil tastes of liquorice. This type works well in drinks that are mint flavored but can also be used in rum or tequila-based drinks like margaritas, daiquiris, martinis, and vodka or gin gimlets. Thai or Japanese basil is also commonly used in cocktails and provides your mixed drinks with a peppery flavor. Consider garnishing your drinks, muddling in the herbs, or creating your own syrups to provide your cocktails with their own unique flavors and tastes. 


Lavender is a special addition to any cocktail, with woody and floral flavors akin to mint and rosemary. Lavender can be used in sparkling wine or added to lemony drinks, and is best added to a beverage as an infused syrup. It will provide your drink with a light, airy taste of spring, especially when you opt to add it to gin or vodka. 


Dill is a perennial and has been used in drinks, food, and medicine, since Roman times. You can opt to use either the seeds, the fronds of the dill plant, or both in your cocktails. Dill has an easily recognizable aroma and offers a unique tangy, slightly sweet, grassy flavor that blends amazingly well with vodka. Some cocktails that contain fresh dill include the Freeside and The 866. 


Cilantro is a zesty cocktail ingredient that hails from a tiny delicate plant with many culinary uses. This brightly flavored, spicy herb has been used for many years throughout Mexican and Asian food and drink, in a variety of environments, and boasts numerous powerful antioxidants. Cilantro is also known to lower cholesterol, relieve anxiety, and fight insomnia, making it a great ingredient to add to your cocktail and your diet. Because of its combined sweet and sour flavors, it makes an excellent mojito ingredient. It can also be used to punch up martinis and margaritas.