Strawberry Anise Hyssop Gin & Tonic

Foraging around the herb garden for tasty things to add to an end-of-the-work-week cocktail might be one of my favorite things to do. Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum caught my attention when I saw the bees buzzing up and down the pale lavender flower stalks. As I ran my fingers across the leaves I got a whiff of citrusy licorice mint. That's when I knew.. Anise Infused Simple Syrup with a hint of strawberry gin and tonic would make a very well earned drink.

This plant not only attracts a parade of beneficial pollinators, but herb lovers and crafters claim it as an amazing culinary and medicinal herb for teas, fruit salads, flavored vinegars etc, etc. In the garden, it’s a perennial that grows about 3 feet with a long and promising bloom that's edible too!


Simple Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
20 large hyssop leaves

Infused syrup


Heat sugar, water and hyssop leaves on the stove top until boil. Turn off heat and let steep for 20-30 minutes.

Blend or muddle strawberries in your gin and tonic and add your Anise Hyssop simple syrup. Top with a bloom, take another walk outside and enjoy the lush greenery of spring as we fade into this summer heat.

To Liquor with Love

Fuck Valentine’s day amirite. I mean aside from whatever new emotional Drake v-day card the internet has to share with us or bulk discounts on fancy chocolate, who really needs to waste their time waiting around for that annual bouquet of roses from the boo?

So alas we have alcohol, God’s gift to man that allows this vexed holiday to reign on supreme each year for the less fortunate in this game called love. Throw a blush accent on that bih and wah-lah! who said you weren’t being festive?

Here's two quick n' simply whiskey cocktails to whip up this weekend. Sip to the pace of Beyonce on repeat.

Plum Ginger Whiskey Sour


1.5 oz whiskey
1 oz plum syrup
.25 oz lemon juice
.25 oz ginger juice
One egg white
Fresh plum slices
Candied ginger


1. Combine all ingredients without ice so that the egg white will emulsify.

2. Add ice to shaker and re-shake so that the drink is chilled.

3. Strain over one cube in a rocks glass and garnish with candied ginger and plum slice.



Sparkling Whiskey with Lavender Bitters


4 oz of sparkling rosé
1.5 oz whiskey
.5 oz lavender bitters (or lavender mixer of choice)
*simple syrup optional


1. Combine whiskey and bitters in shaker.

2. Pour into glass, and then top with rosé.

3. Garnish with lavender sprig. 

Tangerine Ginger Cocktail

To the poor suckers who suffer from too much painful puckering while eating ginger... I am so sorry. Because ginger is an ah-maz-ing addition to basically any flavor scenario, adding a spicy proud zing to balance out an otherwise too-sweet palate. This can be especially useful when making cocktails, often weighed down with simply syrups and fruit juices. 

For this drink, ginger did its job just fine along side the sugary tangerine and pomegranate flavors. The final spritz of of tart lime rounded out the cocktail for a smooth finish that didn't have you feeling stuck on a Caribbean cruise ship during each sip. 

Ingredients (serves 2)

1/4 c pomegranate juice
4 slices fresh ginger
1 fresh squeezed lime
1 tangerine (or 1/4 c juice)
blanco tequila (100% agave)
candied ginger for garnish


1. Muddle well the fresh ginger slices and tangerine slices together in your cocktail shaker.

2. Add in a few ice cubes, tequila, lime juice, and pomegranate juice. Shake well for 15 seconds.

3. Strain into glass. Garnish with ginger (I used both freshly sliced and the candied because hello I love ginger). Enjoy! 

Backyard Elderflower Cordial

As we fade into the depths of summer heat, foraging can be a little thin within city limits, but there is one delight that just seems to be every where this time of year: Elderberry flowers. And what better way to pair the sweet and subtle flavor of those flowers with a cordial. 

Elderberry is a large shrub, and can even grow into a small tree. The leaves are a lush dark green, slightly serrated on their edges, and each leave should be opposite to another. The flowers are cream-colored, not white with a sweet fragrance. A good rule to live by is to not take more than a few flower heads from each elderberry bush: this ensures that the bush will have enough to spread itself and makes you find more bushes (it’s never a good thing to have only one spot for anything you forage for) and, most importantly, selective picking means you can come back in a few months for the berries. For best cut flowers pick either in the morning or evening.

In the ol' USofA, the term "cordial" usually refers to an alcoholic liqueur. Whereas in other parts of the world, it's just a sweetened concentrated fruit syrup that is added to water or sparkling water to make a refreshing beverage. Elderflower cordials mix well with almost everything, adding a floral sweet smelling syrup to champagne or seltzer water, or better yet a martini. It has a delicate scent, very sweet and just a lil' bit spicy. 


1 pint water
2 cups sugar
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
12 elderflower heads, stems removed (about 1 cup of flowers)

Note: For longer shelf life use citric acid in your cordial as a preservative to reduce the fermentation process. We used twice as much lemon in the recipe instead. This method does the job, but imparts a slight lemon flavor, which i think compliments the elderflower flavor. Also note: cutting board made by bloom's #1 handy man marshall hawthorne <3



Snip off the flowers from the stalks into a quart sized mason jar. Try to remove as much of the stems as you can because they are toxic. A few stray bits of stems will not hurt you, but you want to minimize that.

Zest the lemons and add it to the jar along with the lemon juice.

Bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve. Let the syrup cool to room temperature. Pour the syrup over the flowers, lemons et al and stir to combine. Cover the jar with cheesecloth and let sit for 2-4 days.

When ready, strain it through the cheesecloth into another clean jar. Seal the jar and store in the fridge.

Summer Here We Kum(quat)

Nothing brings on more summer vibes than getting creative with your hydration of booze. Like how many ice-cold refreshing, deliciously fresh, garden grown, fruity sweet flavor combos can one come up with on the fly? Never enough.

Had a real treat waiting around in my pantry for use - homemade kumquat jam gifted to me by E. Kumquats are the perfect tart and so as a jam offer wide range of random uses. Reduced to a simple syrup, this could go far with so many different drinks. Fresh citrus to hold up the tart syrup, the subtle, peppery flavor of homegrown basil is what really did the trick. Take those super flavors and add just a bit of seltzer and our favorite fruit mixer *tequila - so easily you have the ultimate summer cocktail that only a crazy person would have to dislike.


1 tbsp kumquat jam (more or less depending on taste) 
2 oranges, we used navel
1/4 cup candied ginger
4 to 5 basil leaves
2 bottles sparkling orange seltzer

*makes two drinks


1. Reduce kumquat jam and diced candied ginger on low heat until syrup consistency.

2. Squeeze oranges and pour into mixer. Add cooled kumquat syrup and tequila and shake thoroughly.

3. Evenly pour between both glasses, and then add orange seltzer. Top off with basil leaves.

4. Garnish with orange slice and leftover candied ginger.

Hibiscus & Borage Bubbly

Elizabeth has some *too pretty to use* hibiscus syrup, that of course alone is like a dream but even more comes with the surprise of perfectly-syrupy infused hibiscus flowers floating around the jar bottom. So when wondering how to use them naturally we just thought, stick it in booze.

This cocktail is pretty close to princess status -- perfectly placed hibiscus bud, sparkling rosé, garnished with presh borage floral and fresh lemongrass stem, picked right from E's front yard dream garden. 

Syrup and sweet champagne make this the ultimate dessert drink that instantly adds class to any environment or situation: sitting on the mansion floor reminiscing via teenage journal entries.


1 bottle dry rosé champagne
Hibiscus syrup
Handful of borage flower heads
2 fresh lemongrass(es)


1. Add hibiscus flower and small amount of syrup to bottom of flute.

2. Pour champagne.

3. Garnish with borage and lemongrass.

Sweet & Spicy Summer Shandy

Often, desperate times calls for desperate measures. But let's be real - out of said desperate measures often comes that janky stroke of genius, worthy enough to share with the world. Like this drink we threw together in the mountains last week. Out of mild unpreparedness, general lack of ingredients, and genuine need of a drink, we scavenged what we could to make a surprisingly successful summertime beer cocktail.


2 cans Leinenkugel Summer Shandy
2 travel-sized Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
2 fresh oranges


1. Squeeze orange juice in the glasses, respectively. Save a few slices for the garnish.

2. Next pour your desired amount of Fireball.

3. Add Shandy, finish with orange slice garnish.

Boozy Goji Berry N' Cherry Limeade

Can you feel it? Can you smell it... hear it.... TASTE IT?!? Yup, that would be summer just around the corner. And while I'm not tryna rush spring (can we talk about this perf weather y'all?) it doesn't mean we can't start to plan ahead for the long, sweltering, FL summer days to come.

Lately we've been pretty into the idea of dousing our favorite smoothies and milkshakes with, to be clear, liquor. So when goji berries AND frozen cherries were on sale last week, it was kinda like how can we take these perfectly sweet and tart fruits and slushify them with booze? Easy.

The real wowzer in this recipe is the goji berry soaked vodka. Easy to do, doesn't take long (but of course when infusing liquids the longer the better), plus the berries really rub their flavor off on the otherwise flavorless vodka. And at this point in the game jus tryna get tips probably outweighs being nutritionally proactive, but FYI goji berries are really good for you too.

Classic flavor combo with a twist *literally* and yr warm weather martini game just went through the roof.


1 cup vodka (for every 1 cup, use 1/4 cup goji berries)
Goji berries
4 Fresh limes
1/2 cup Organic sweet dark cherries (we used frozen ones)
Optional:  Cerise Limón La Croix

*makes two cocktails, give or take


1. Soak your goji berries in your vodka overnight, or longer. Use a jar with an airtight lid. And ratio of goji to vodka is to yr liking.

2. When ready to make the cocktail, add your cherries, ice, and juice from three limes into a blender. Run blender on low speed.

3. Next, add your vodka to the mixture and blend again on low for just a few seconds. *or you can just transfer all this to a cocktail shaker

4. Grab your glasses and fill half way with the cherry-lime seltzer. Top off the remaining with your vodka cherry mix from the blender,

5. Garnish with a lime wedge and fresh gojis sprinkled atop!

How to Homebrew: Craft Your Own Mead

Just as honey is one of nature's truly miraculous substances, so is its fermented product: mead. This golden libation of the Norse gods is an alcoholic blend of pure honey and water, that hold flavors ranging from desert-dry to dessert-sweet. The basic recipe for mead is simply honey, water, and yeast. Literally three basic ingredients required to craft this libation together. Often various fruits, herbs and spices are added to produce a dry, sweet or even sparkling mead. The sky is the limit when experimenting as a home brewer.. let the wild flavor combos ensue!

We've came up with two delicious & hearty brews ourselves: Nettle, Cherry & Lemon Peel for the first batch. Apricot, Crystalized Ginger & Vanilla for the second. First let's review some tips n ticks on ingredients, equipment, and techniques you'll need to get your own brews made. 



Honey is the first ingredient to consider when making mead. Being so, choosing a more or less sweet variety of honey can greatly impact the outcome of your mead's taste. A simple rule of thumb for the quality of honey, is the darker the honey the higher the sugar content, also the pollen source. Honey from wild flowers and clover tends to be lighter and has a lower sugar content while honey from fruit trees and grains tends to be darker and sweeter. Yeast nutrients are not essential but they can be very beneficial to your mead. Yeast are single-celled living organisms that metabolizes the sugars in honey to carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol. Selecting the yeast is just as important as your other ingredients while it controls the alcohol, sweetness, flavor, and even color of the mead. We chose a cultured and well-suited to fruit, wine yeast, Lalvin K1-V1116 Saccharomyces cervisea, courtesy of Homebrew Den. To create the fruit-containing mead, add ten to twenty percent fruit juice, whole dried/fresh fruit or purees to your honey-water mixture. Almost any spice or herb can also be added to mead, either as an extract or directly at almost any time during the mead making process. Blends of two or more spices and herbs are commonly used. If added directly, they should not remain in the mix for very long because bitter components may be extracted. Oh and I'd definitely avoid city water since it has some chemicals in it. Not to say it won't be good, but if you can get a good, clean water source, use it.


Techniques & Equipment:

Start by learning about sanitation. We've come a long way since those early days of wild yeasts and bacteria so it's a big first step towards a successful brew. If you want to avoid spoiling your mead (or getting a disease) you should sanitize all your brewing materials thoroughly. Contamination causes offish flavors, poor stability, aesthetic problems. Bottom line - it can totally ruin yr mead. 

As for required equipment, you should acquire a gallon container, a rubber stopper and some sort of airlock. Homebrew Den also helped us out in that department. We used two half gallon glass jugs, but as an alternative you can brew in just a clean milk jug with a balloon on top *for the real DIYers.


Featured ingredient: 

Along with our sweeter fruit ingredients, we used a more bitter herb to really enhance its flavor. Stinging nettle, rarely thought of as an herbal remedy, but really its healing properties are overwhelmingly abundant and have been documented for hundreds of years.  

This nutrition packed herb is traditionally known as a “spring tonic”, being one of the earliest greens to bloom in spring. Stinging nettle has shown to be an asitingent, diuretic, heretic, anti-allerginic, antihistamine, and so so much more. The plant’s leaves may be used dried or fresh - its most common form being nettle tea. 

Nettle is slow to metabolize and thus gently moves through the body, making it extremely beneficial to the kidneys as blood and intestinal purifier. Its significant ability to purify the blood also relies on its high content of vitamin A, C, K, and iron. Cool fact = dried nettles are nearly 40% protein! The leaves can also be used externally, as treatment to skin irritation like mouth infections, eczema, acne, and insect bites. 

Nettle is a great healing alternative to women experiencing PSM or menopause, and historically has been used to help lactating women increase the flow of their breast milk.

In a month or so, nettle will be in abundance! And its exciting to think of all its potential just available in your own backyard. Be sure to check out this site on the proper procedures when harvesting and preparing nettle.

We just used dried nettle in our mead, cooked down over the stove with the other cherry and lemon peel ingredients. The nettle actually acts as a yeast "energizer" in a mead from the tannic acids. This helps speed up the fermentation process. 

  Urtica dioica , or the stinging nettle

Urtica dioica, or the stinging nettle


1 part honey
3 parts water
1 teaspoon of yeast
Fruits or spices

We used combinations of: 

Dried nettle, cherry and lemon peel
Apricot, crystalized ginger a vanilla


Gallon or half gallon jug
Rubber stopper


1. Place all ingredients except honey and yeast in a large stock pot. Bring slowly to a boil and then let steep. Depending on your ingredients you can choose to strain your mixture or not. We strained the Nettle wine because a lot of the flavor and medicinal value came out in the boiling process. Plus leaving the tea would leave a more bitter taste. The dried apricot, ginger & vanilla bean wine will continue to flavor the mead over a month's time so those ingredients will be left submerged in the wine until it is ready. After straining, measure out one part honey to three parts of your hot off the stove liquid in your fermentation vessel. Shake up the mixture until honey is dissolved.

2. When the mixture is cooled to lukewarm, add yeast and top with a rubber stopper and airlock (this allows your fermentation pressure to escape). Let your concoction bubble away!

4. Now it's all about the waiting game. Store for at least 6 months in a cool, dark place. The mead will continue to mellow, and will taste better the longer you can stand to wait. Oh, and don't shake your finished mead bottles! The sediment is yeast and is best left to work its magic alone.

What's the dill?! Cucumber And Dill Infused Vodka

So we loooove dill. On like everything. Popcorn, chickpeas, brussels sprouts, etc. The rest of the world really loves it too: Poland throws it in soups (borscht 1 luv), Sweden pickles it with fish, the French sprinkle it on pastries, Africa marinates their meat with dill, Germany likes their dill pickles, and Holland steeps it in hot milk (ew?) As a culinary herb, dill does a job well done as fresh, dried, or fermented. Plus it's packed with nutritional and medicinal superpowers: dill has significant amounts of vitamin A and C, beta-carotene, folic acid, and serious amount of anti-oxidants; medicinally, dill has been used to treat poor digestion, insomnia, headaches, increase breast milk, and balance blood sugar levels. Pro tip! Dill is fairly simple to grow, prefers full sun and can reach up to 3 ft. tall.

All this to say, def got super excited when we picked-up our Ten-Speed Greens CSA last week, to find fresh beautiful dill! So naturally we were like "omg cocktails!" Took it next level and decided to infuse this presh herb in some classy vodka, with a well paired veggie, the cucumber. Vodka is a great liquor to use for infusions, as its "generally" odorless and flavorless. Likewise it also makes it a good choice if you're low on the money flow- international importation can increase the price of vodkas, rather than its quality. Historically, vodka was used solely for medicinal purposes: for disinfection, pain, and external wounds. Today it is still used medicinally, more for internal wounds. 

Anyway one thing led to another, and now we have the PERFECT mixer for the PERFECT Bloody Mary (recipe soon to come!). 

Infusing liquor is easy. You just need an airtight jar and some patience. Fresh dill can be particularly potent, so really not too much patience for this mix. We're going to let ours soak for a week or less? But would probably be good to use after about 42 hours. Plus since dill is a natural treatment for headaches... well, you do the math.


1 bunch fresh dill
1 small to medium sized cucumber
Vodka of choice (depending on size jar, you will need about the same oz, maybe a little less)
An airtight jar (either 8 oz or 16 oz will do)


1. Chop thick stems from the dill. 
2. Cut and peel cucumber
3. Place both in jar, and then pour in your vodka.
4. Seal sit and lit sit for up to 48 hours.
5. Enjoy! 

Icelandic Jólaglögg

With or without the snow there's nothing more heart warming than my grandmothers traditional Icelandic mulled wine around the holidays. She says it makes her reminiscent of the Christmas markets in Reykjavik's main square and the lighting of the Oslo tree. The spicy scent of Jólaglögg is the potent Icelandic answer to mulled wine ie. frozen lil lungs. 

In the Middle Ages, mulled wine was even used as medicine in Central Europe -- in addition to healing spices, herbs were also added to the wine to help the ailing. This drink will quickly open up your sinuses, while the the heat trails down your throat and begins to spread through your body. This cocktail is so welcoming it's no wonder it’s such a prosperous way to treat your friends.


1 bottle red wine 
1/4 cup vodka or gin 
5 cloves 
2 crushed cardamoms 
2 cinnamon sticks 
1/4 cup of local honey *optional
Orange peels, skinned almonds and raisins. 


Cut the peel from half an orange into thin strips and leave the white bit. Heat the wine and spirits with the spice and let it stay warm for a few minutes without boiling it. Add honey, almonds, raisins and orange peel. Stir and keep warm for a few more minutes. Serve Hot!!

Time to Get Toasted (Almond)

For whatever reason, seasonal cocktails only get more appealing with age (personally). It's like a sudden realization that all of those delicious seasonal scents and tastes reserved for a just a few months out of the year can be experienced in alcohol form.

Feelin' pretty festive, we recently made the Toasted Almond. This recipe is super simple, and its main mixer is Disaronno, an amaretto liqueur. Our cocktail has a few modifications from the classic recipe- we left out the Kahlua and added extra spices.  Instead of using milk or cream, we choose vanilla flavored almond milk, which really pushed the OMG this is so sweet like candy levels out the roof. We also added extra cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, all spice, and ginger), and garnished with a cinnamon clove stick as a stirrer. 

To make this cocktail feel a little more autumn appropriate: add the Kahlua, hold the ice, warm up the drink, and you've got the perfect post-holiday-meal-stupor remedy. 


serves two

2 shots (or more!) of Disaronno 
16oz of almond milk (we used vanilla flavor, and of course you can use any milk or cream of preference)
A cinnamon clove for each drink
Pumpkin Pie Spice
*optional: Kahlua liqueur  


1. Add almond milk and Disaronno to cocktail shaker, and combine (if you are also using Kahlua, add that now).

2. Pour mixture over ice into each glass.

3. Top with pumpkin pie spice, and extra spices to taste per preference (such as cinnamon).

4. Stir with cinnamon cloves and leave as garnish.

Ginger Prickly Pear & Basil Cocktails, for the Prickly of Heart

Here in Tallahassee, we're pretty lucky to have some pretty incredible ladies providing the community with fresh, organic, produce- as part of their independently run business Ten-Speed Greens.

We stopped by their market this past weekend and picked up one of their homemade jams: ginger prickly pear jam. Yes, it sounds EVEN BETTER than you would imagine. The sweetness of the pear (...and sugar...) doesn't drown out the spiciness of the ginger, leaving you with the perfect flavor combo to mix with tequila. *Remember, try and use %100 Agave tequila if you can.*  We added a bit of basil to the mix for an extra added herb-y freshness. And then of course what tequila drink goes without lime? Sparkling water is optional (and honestly a bit unnecessary if you're throwing this drink in the blender), but we love the bubbly so who can blame us.


Generous spoonfuls
10-Speed-Greens ginger prickly pear jam
3 fresh limes
2 full sprigs of basil
100% agave tequila
Sparkling water



1. Combine ice, tequila, jam, and half of your basil leaves in a blender. For a more pulpy drink, peel limes and add them to the blender as well.
2. Add ice and sparkling water to glasses, but fill only half way. Fill remainder of the glasses with your mixture. Stir. *Skip the seltzer if you're a normal person and just want a blended icy drink*
3. Squeeze in lime juice to preference.
4. Garnish with lime wedge and basil.

Desperate Thymes: Blackberry-Thyme Margaritas

Well, technically not a margarita, since our cocktail lacks an orange liquor. But, we are on track with the tequila! Really as one would assume with most cocktails (except for those that come in a can labeled 4Loko), the key to its success is the quality of the liquor. Specifically for tequila, this means 100% agave. If you see the word "mixto" anywhere on the bottle, put back on shelf and quickly walk away. There are plenty of affordable 100% agave tequilas out there, especially if you find a good sale at the liquor store. But it's key you don't skimp on this one for a multitude of semi-obvious reasons. 

First off, high quality 100% agave tequila actually tastes pretty great on its own. So put all that diet coke back in the fridge. Secondly it won't give you a hangover, while actually providing health benefits like better digestion. Best news of all, supposedly  tequila has the most naturally stimulative properties of all alcohols. I'll chose not to provide a source for this fun fact and let you "responsibly" test its truth on your own. 

Since we're using our tequila as a mixer, there's no need to shell out a day's worth of pay. Also we're in our 20's so probably wouldn't if it wasn't being mixed... Either way we chose to use Espolón Tequila Blanco, which cost around $25. Remember, low-budget sipping and mixing doesn't have to mean low quality!


100% Agave Tequila
Blackberries (we used organic frozen blackberries, a cheaper alternative as they're not in season right now)
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 to 2 limes
Sparkling water
Simple syrup to taste




1. Muddle blackberries and thyme leaves in a bowl. 
2. Stir in the simple syrup.
3. Juice the limes. Save a few wedges for garnish.
4. Measure (or don't!) your tequila, and then pour into your glasses. 
5. Add your blackberry puree, stir together.
6. Fill the remainder of your glass with sparkling water.
7. Stir and sip.

Alternative method:  Mix blackberries and thyme in a food processor (strain berry seeds if you prefer). Toss the remainder of the ingredients, including your ice, into a blender. Skip the sparkling water and pour blended batch into glasses.



Ch Ch Ch Cherry (bomb) Soaked Bourbon

The first time we did this recipe, we took a sip of the final product and thought to ourselves: Why have we never done this before?  Yes, cherry soaked bourbon, or bourbon soaked cherries, is so delicious that the idea of even adding a mixer seems upsetting. Bonus(!) is that you get those nice booze soaked cherries too- versatile, delicious, but still a little tart (that glass of diet coke just got a lot more exciting ).  

As summer comes to a close, the easiest way to find cherries is in the frozen foods aisle.  Not so bad though, considering they're already pitted. Be sure to not use Moschino cherries, as those have already lost their stiff texture and often come with added sugar.

As far as bourbon is concerned, we recommend to steer clear of those bottom shelf brands. Even though the bourbon is being infused with the sweet and tangy cherry flavors, having a smoother starting point will pay off in the end. Yet, we know what it's like to be on a budget, so sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do (we're lookin' at you, Jim Beam).

The process is so simple, so quick, and so so tasty. Enjoy! 


1 bottle of bourbon whiskey (you're choice, we chose to use Marker's Mark)
About 1 to 2 cups of pitted cherries
Honey, or an alternative sweetener, to taste




1. Pour the bourbon into a sauce pan with your sugar of choice, to dilute the mixture. You don't need to keep a boil, just enough heat to combine the elements. 

2. Place the cherries in an airtight container, such as a mason jar. 

3. Pour the bourbon mixture over the cherries. 

4. Close the container, and then wait anywhere from 10 to 24 hours before enjoying your bourbon. However, the longer it marinates the better, so even a few days would be good.