THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION
The Drink Nation Home Bar Project Cover

Four Great Ways to Extend Harvest Season With Winter Drinks

by Michelle L. Holshue on Dec 12, 2012 in Culture
Four Great Ways to Extend Harvest Season With Winter Drinks

As the hours of daylight disappear and temperatures continue drop, it’s easy to become wistful recalling summer evenings spent outdoors, sipping cocktails made with garden-fresh ingredients after days of soaking up the sun. However, just because you’ve buttoned up your garden or put away your farmer's market tote bags until next spring doesn't mean you can't enjoy a taste of sunshine in your glass. Here are some suggestions to help you extend the fall harvest through the spring thaw.

Preserve herbs to liven up your cocktails year-round


If you grew fresh herbs this year, or if you can still find them at the market, there are few ways to preserve them for use in cocktails year-round. Herbs with a high water content, like mint, basil, or sage, can be frozen in ice: simply wash & chop, place in a plastic ice cube tray, cover with water, and freeze. The herbs will be wilted when thawed, but they'll retain all of their flavor. Just pop a cube out at any time you're craving a mojito, or add some frozen mint to your spiked hot chocolate (and strain before serving) for a refreshing treat.

Another way to preserve herbs is to make a simple syrup by boiling them with water and sugar. This method works well with thyme, basil, rosemary, and sage — or feel free to combine your favorites for a unique syrup that will liven up any winter cocktail.

Incorporate cold-weather fruits into your drinks

If you can find locally-grown apples and pumpkins, you've got great options for making fresh cocktails. Fresh-pressed apple cider is a delicious hot drink when mulled with spices and rum (and garnished with a slice of fresh apple). Or try a making your own pumpkin pie purée to use in a pumpkin martini — it's like drinking your favorite pie in a glass! As a bonus, fresh pumpkin purée will keep for months in the freezer.

Infuse your own liquor

Infusing liquor with fruit, herbs, and spices is an easy way to create unique cocktails that taste garden-fresh. Start with your favorite liquor — gin, vodka, rum, and whiskey all make good candidates. You can add herbs or citrus peel right into the bottle, or if you'd like to infuse fruits like apples, cherries, or pineapple, fill a clean mason jar with sliced fruit and fill with liquor. Either way, you'll want to cover the bottle or jar tightly and store on a shelf away from light or heat.

That's it! Fruit-infused liquor will be ready in just a few days, while herbs and spices may take a few weeks. When it's time to serve, strain the liquor and mix away. Bonus: If you use fruit to infuse your liquor, don't forget to eat it, too — it's like a boozy fruit salad! Double bonus: Infused liquor makes a great holiday gift.

Consider a window box for fresh herbs year-round

For a final option to ensure fresh-tasting cocktails, you can always try your hand at indoor gardening. Herbs like basil, thyme, mint, and rosemary grow well indoors as long as they have lots of light (a south-facing window is ideal). I grow mine in my kitchen, so a fresh garnish is always an arm's length away.

Photos via Flickr users Kirti Poddar, 3liz4 and Kichen Wench, respectively

Recent Articles

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Scientists may have discovered a more environmentally friendly way to make one of the world's most popular spi...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 23, 2019
Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Negroni Week 2019 is June 24-30, so drink this classic cocktail for a good cause....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 19, 2019
What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

If you're taking an Uber, Lyft, or cab and feel unsafe, there are steps you can take to protect yourself....read more ›

by Nina Starner Jun 19, 2019
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

This time on Behind the Bar, we spoke to Kat Corbo of The Study, who recently won Speed Rack 2019....read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 15, 2019
Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

In a huge move for the American craft beer community, Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have agreed to a merger valued at $300 million dollars. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 10, 2019
A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A new, high-end blend of Jack Daniel's whiskey, known as Jack Daniel's No. 27 Gold, which was previously only ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 15, 2019
Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon has debuted an entirely new label design, has expanded to more states...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 3, 2019
PBR is Making Its Own Whiskey For the Perfect Shot & Beer Combo

PBR is Making Its Own Whiskey For the Perfect Shot & Beer Combo

Pabst Blue Ribbon has filed documents to create its very own whiskey, making for the perfect shot & beer combo....read more ›

by Drink Philly Mar 18, 2019
Behind the Bar: Tory Pratt of Pratt Standard

Behind the Bar: Tory Pratt of Pratt Standard

In this edition of Behind the Bar, we chatted with Tory Pratt, the founder of Pratt Standard....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Mar 7, 2019
Acclaimed Director Ridley Scott Has Made Seven Short Films for Hennessy X.O.

Acclaimed Director Ridley Scott Has Made Seven Short Films for Hennessy X.O.

Ridley Scott has directed a four-minute short film for Hennessy X.O. visualizing the seven flavors of the high...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Mar 4, 2019
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close