Food & Drink

How to Turn Your Vegetable Garden’s Bounty into Cocktails

Three mixologist-crafted recipes that transform summer produce into an especially fresh cocktail hour

Photo: Francisco Miranda

Francisco Miranda's Mint To Bee cocktail.

You know the garden glut has arrived when your neighbors stop answering the door as you show up with yet another armload of veggie bounty. Perhaps they’ll change their tune if you invite them over for cocktails that incorporate those same peppers, cukes, and cantaloupes to delicious, refreshing effect. Just remember to raise a glass to the creative Southern mixologists and cocktail hot spots that whipped up with these recipes.

I Beg Your Garden

From Ricardo Flores of Hot Tin in New Orleans

photo: Ricardo Flores


(Yield: 1 cocktail)

1½ oz. South American aged rum (such as El Dorado 5 year old)

1 oz. single malt Scotch

¾ oz. lemon juice

½ oz. honey

4–5 pieces red and yellow sweet pepper


Muddle pepper pieces in a shaker. Add all other ingredients, shake for 10 seconds, and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with red and yellow pepper medallions.

Lunch at Lauren’s

From Micha Lemon of the Alley Light in Charlottesville, Virginia

photo: Micha Lemon


(Yield: 1 cocktail)

2½ oz. cantaloupe juice

1 oz. vodka

¾ oz. pisco brandy

¼ oz. white quinquina aperitif (such as Mattie Cap Corse Blanc)

¾ oz. simple syrup

¾ oz. lime juice

½ oz. egg white

Orange peel

Flower for garnish (optional)


Add first 7 ingredients to a shaker and shake without ice. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

Use a vegetable peeler to slice a thin piece of orange peel. Express peel oil into the drink and discard. Garnish with flower (shown with corn flower) and serve.

Mint to Bee

From Francisco Miranda of Table in Miami

(Yield: 1 cocktail)

2 oz. gin

2 oz. fresh cucumber juice (recipe follows)

½ oz. mint syrup (recipe follows)

3 tbsp. honey labneh (recipe follows)

1 lengthwise cucumber slice

1 tbsp. pistachios, crushed (for garnish)


1 English cucumber

8 oz. water


2 cups simple syrup

¼ cup fresh mint


9 tbsp. labneh

4½ tsp. honey


Make the cucumber juice: Slice the cucumbers into small pieces. In a blender, combine with water and blend until completely blended. Strain with a fine strainer. Refrigerate in a jar. (Extra can be used later.)

Make the mint syrup: In a small saucepan, heat the simple syrup until boiling. Add the mint and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the mint, and let the syrup cool. Refrigerate in a jar. (Extra can be used later.)

Make the honey labneh: In a mixing bowl, combine the labneh and honey until it has a smooth texture. Refrigerate in a jar. (Extra can be used later.)

Mix the cocktail: In a shaker, combine all wet ingredients and shake for 10 seconds without ice. Add ice and shake for 10 more seconds. Curl cucumber slice around inside of glass. Add ice. Stain shaker contents into tall glass. Garnish with crushed pistachios.