Image adapted from daspunkt, Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0It’s a beautiful spring day: a crisp breeze blows gently through sun-kissed leaves on recently budding trees in a refreshed, lime green landscape. You’re wearing your airy Sunday sundress, listening to lazy jazz croon out of iTunes, while kicking back on the front porch. Few other things could complete this long-awaited day… except for, maybe, a chilled, spiked cocktail.

Luckily for you, those blossoming herbs on your windowsill are all you’ll need to shake up a seasonal spring cocktail in just seconds. Here are five herbed seasonal cocktail recipes we love.

If you’re growing herbs at home this season, you can add them to your cocktails for gourmet mixers in seconds. In fancy bars, you can expect to pay equally fancy prices for a similarly-shaken cocktails. Using fresh herbs and simple citrus at home, you’ll enjoy yours for pennies. And impress the flipflops right off of your brunch date. Talk about a springtime score.

All recipes are made for one cocktail. If you don’t have a jigger at home, just use the conversion 1 tablespoon = ½ ounce for each recipe.

Strawberry Basil Smasher
3 organic strawberries
3 large fresh basil leaves
1 ounce ginger syrup
1 ½ ounces vodka, rum or tequila
½ ounce fresh lime juice
Ice, for shaking
Fresh strawberry and basil, for garnish

  • Muddle strawberries, basil and syrup in a mixing glass. 
  • Add liquor, lime and ice; shake for five seconds.
  • Strain into a highball glass. Serve with fresh berry and basil garnish.

Mint Julep
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cups fresh mint leaves, plus leaves for garnish
Ice, for shaking
2 ounces rye

  • Combine sugar and  water in a small pot; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve. 
  • Remove from heat, add mint and let sit, covered for two hours. 
  • Strain syrup into a jar; keep refrigerated for two weeks.
  • For each cocktail: Combine two tablespoons mint syrup with ice and rye in a mixing glass; shake for five seconds. 
  • Strain into a chilled glass; serve garnished with fresh mint.

Blackberry Rosemary Cocktail
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup water
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
¼ cup blackberries
Ice, for shaking
2 ounces vodka, gin, or rum
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • Combine honey, water and rosemary in a small pot; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve. Simmer for five minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and strain syrup into a jar; keep refrigerated for two weeks.
  • For each cocktail: Muddle blackberries in a mixing glass. Add two tablespoons rosemary syrup, ice, vodka and lemon juice; shake for five seconds. 
  • Strain into a chilled glass; serve garnished with rosemary sprig.

Cilantro Cucumber Cooler
¼ cup fresh cilantro
2 slices lime
1 slice lemon
¼ jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped
Ice, for shaking
2 ounces gin
Splash club soda

  • Muddle cilantro, lime, lemon and jalapeno in a mixing glass. 
  • Add ice and gin; shake for five seconds. 
  • Strain into a chilled martini glass. 
  • Splash with club soda.

Dill Pickle Tini
1 tablespoon chopped pickle
1 tablespoon fresh dill
2 ounces pickle juice
2 ounces vodka
Ice, for shaking
Fresh dill, for garnish

  • Muddle pickle and dill in a mixing glass. 
  • Add ice, juice and vodka; shake for five seconds. 
  • Strain into a chilled highball glass. 
  • Garnish with dill and serve.

Image adapted from daspunkt, Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0