So Fresh! Herbal Cocktails for Perfect Summer Parties

Summer cocktails with a hint of mint, rosemary or sage can add serious style to any gathering. Since there’s nothing like an expertly mixed beverage to go with fresh summer fare, we at Jerry’s Kitchen are glad to share these fabulous recipes with you.


Though the oils released from a sprig or two of crushed herbs add just a hint of flavor, that’s really all you need to take your summertime cocktail from good to great.

How to release the flavor from herbs without giving your guests a mouthful of leaves? Turns out, muddling is the way to go. If you don’t have a muddler made especially for the job, just use the end of a wooden spoon to smash the herbs at the bottom of a glass or cocktail shaker. Mix the cocktail as you normally would, then either strain the liquid into a clean glass or cover the drink with crushed ice.

Mint: the fresh classic

Have you ever sipped on a cup of peppermint tea and wished it had a little kick? You’re in luck! Mint is the only herb that goes with every cocktail. It also tastes amazing in white wine and many beers.

Try this great recipe for a Blackberry Mint Julep and see if you don’t love it!

  • Two 6-ounce containers of blackberries
  • 1-2 tablespoons of water
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 4-5 small mint leaves (or 2 large, torn)
  • 2 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • Blackberries and mint leaves for garnish

First, make a blackberry puree: Place blackberries and water in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh sieve using the back of a spoon to coax the mixture through the holes. Discard seeds and pulp.

Place simple syrup and mint leaves in the bottom of a julep glass or double old- fashioned glass. Muddle gently to release the oils of the mint, but do not shred the leaves. Add bourbon and blackberry puree. Stir gently to combine. Fill glass with crushed ice and stir until sides of glass are nice and frosty. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with mint and blackberries. Enjoy!

Wise bartenders love sage

Warm, earthy sage goes well in a Thanksgiving stuffing, but it also pairs well with gin and bourbon. It’s especially great in drinks that feature lemon or honey. Try the Bee’s Knees to sample sage’s refreshing qualities.

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce honey syrup
  • 3 fresh sage leaves, divided
  • Ice

First, make simple syrup by bringing equal parts honey and water to a simmer in a small saucepan until honey dissolves. Let cool to room temperature before using.

Tip: Syrup can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. Store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use. If you want stronger sage flavor, add a sprig of sage to the honey as it cools (discard before storing).

Combine gin, lemon juice, syrup, and 2 sage leaves in a cocktail shaker and stir to dissolve honey syrup. Fill shaker halfway with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Smack the remaining sage leaf between your hands over the glass, drop into the drink and serve.

It’s not just for pesto and margherita pizza! Peppery yet sweet, basil makes an awesome cocktail addition. Gin, vodka, and tequila all combine well with this leafy herb. Muddled fruit is a helpful addition to offset any bitterness. Enjoy this basil-and-peach inflected Moscow Mule for the ultimate herbal high.

  • 1/3 cup freshly diced peaches
  • 1/2 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounces basil simple syrup
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4-5 ounces ginger beer

First, make the simple syrup: Heat equal parts sugar and water on the stove, bringing to a gentle boil. Add muddled basil to the mixture. Allow to cool.

Dice fresh peaches into small pieces and place into the bottom of a Moscow Mule mug. Add in syrup and lime juice. Muddle the peaches until completely broken up. Add vodka. Fill the mug with crushed ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a fresh peach slice and a basil leaf. Ahhhh … perfection!

Remember, we’re your hometown caterer near Philadelphia and Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Want to entertain with fabulous, fresh-made fare without heating up your kitchen this summer? Call Jerry’s Kitchen instead! We are the leading Philadelphia-area catering service with classic favorites, brought to your home, business or family reunion. We specialize in making your birthday parties delicious, fun and stress-free! Call us today to discuss your upcoming parties and corporate events.



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