Add these spices to your alcohol and cocktails

Savory cocktails have been all the rage lately. Some restaurants are even taking it to the extreme, making cocktails with beef broth. While it may seem strange to add vegetal or salty elements to your drinks, herbs can actually give your cocktail a delicious, full flavor that makes it seem more like a meal than a drink. So we picked out seven of our favorite spices that you should definitely be adding to your drinks. The best part? You probably already have all of these in your spice rack.


Add rosemary to your alcohol and cocktails

Rosemary is a zesty, aromatic spice that’s often used in steak and poultry recipes. Because rosemary packs a savory punch, it rounds out well in sweeter, citrus based cocktails.

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How to use it:

Rosemary goes great in a vodka lemonade. In a large pitcher, combine 3 cups club soda, ½ cup of lemon juice, ½ cup vodka, ½ cup sugar, ice, and 6 sprigs of rosemary. Stir, and allow the lemonade to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes before serving.


Add basil to your alcohol and cocktails

Basil is the main component in pesto, which is nothing short of an 8th world wonder. For this reason, I spent most of my life associating basil with garlic. But basil is actually a delicate, sweet spice that works well with lighter spirits, like gin.

How to use it:

In a shaker, muddle a few basil leaves (think 3-5) and and ice. Then add 2 oz of gin, ⅓ oz vermouth, and shake vigorously. Strain into a lowball, add a pinch of sugar, and enjoy.


Add tarragon to your alcohol and cocktails

Did you know that tarragon is a key ingredient in béarnaise sauce, the most delicious steak condiment? Tarragon has hints of licorice and anise. While commonly used with gin, it’s also great with the molasses tang of golden rum.

How to use it:

In wide glass, muddle blackberries with a spoonful of simple syrup, then add a large ice cube, fill half the glass with golden rum, then top with root beer and two sprigs of tarragon. Wait thirty seconds for the tarragon to set before drinking.


Add cilantro to your alcohol and cocktails

This spice is pretty polarizing. You either can’t get enough of it, or it makes you want to gag. If you fall into the latter category, don’t roll your eyes just yet! Cilantro is known for being soapy, and it kind of is. But you know what soap does? It cleans. Cilantro is the perfect palate cleanser.

How to use it:

Cilantro goes well with tropical flavors, so make your own variation of a Planter’s Punch. In a tall glass filled with ice, pour  2 oz of orange juice, 2 oz of pineapple juice, ½ oz guava juice, 1 oz of dark rum, 1 oz of white rum, ½ oz grenadine syrup, and top with chopped cilantro. Stir vigorously, and garnish with a goofy parasol.


Add cardamom to your alcohol and cocktails

Cardamom is one of the spices that makes Indian food so delicious. Earthy, tangy, with just a hint of underlying bitterness, savory dishes and Chai concentrate all call for this green, pod-like spice.

How to use it:

No need to get fancy, make yourself a spiked Chai! Boil a cup of milk with a few cardamom pods and ground cinnamon. Wait until the mixture is steaming before pouring it in a mug over a Chai bag. Add 2 spoonfuls of bourbon and mix.

Black Pepper

Add black pepper to your alcohol and cocktails

Humble black pepper never seems to get enough press. It’s always there, and so most of us never feel the need to get creative with it. However, it’s no wonder many somms sniff out this spice when sampling wine. It’s powerful, and readily available. So don’t let it go by the wayside!

How to use it:

With mulled wine, of course. Simply add a teaspoon to your favorite mulled wine recipe (while it’s still on the stove). Don’t worry, that small amount is not enough to send you sneezing between sips.


Add dill to your alcohol and cocktails

You love this on game day in your sour cream dip, in tea sandwiches, and with smoked salmon. It’s such a versatile spice, a little sour, a little sugary. Because it’s subtle, you can use it in a cocktail and with accompanying food.

How to use it:

In a shaker, muddle a pinch of dill with cucumbers and a pinch of brown sugar. Add ice, 3 oz tequila, ½ oz lime juice, and ½ oz simple syrup. Shake, strain over ice in a lowball, and top with a bit more dill.

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