Summertime is synonymous with fresh produce: farmer’s markets are in full swing and gardens are lush with sweet fruit, leafy herbs, and plump peppers all ripe for the picking. All that homegrown goodness is bound to end up in salads, as side dishes, or desserts—why not save some for your glass, too? Fresh-from-the-garden fruits, veggies, and herbs add serious oomph to craft cocktails (they’re also an easy way to pretty them up!) Here are five types of produce that are at their peak this month, and how you can slip them into your next summer sipper:
What’s in season: CucumberWhat to make: Cucumber Mint JulepThe addition of freshly made cucumber syrup elevates this classic bourbon drink to an even more sophisticated, refreshing summer cocktail. Not a fan of bourbon? Try the Pimm’s Cucumber Cooler or Cucumber Margarita instead.
What's in season: MelonWhat to make: Honeydew MimosasThere's nothing like a slice of juicy, ultra-hydrating melon on a hot day. Instead of reserving for afternoon snacks, throw a couple of handfuls in a blender with some ice and bit of sugar. Top with sparkling wine (or water) for a refreshing drink. The same trick works with watermelon: If that's your preference, try our Watermelon Aqua Fresca.
What's in season: PeachesWhat to make: Peach FuzziesThis sweet and tart combo of pink lemonade, vodka, and ripe, juicy peaches blended into slushy form is perfect for a hot afternoon on the beach.
What's in season: LavenderWhat to make: Lavender Gin CocktailThis pretty flowering plant grows abundantly in seaside gardens. Aside from savoring its lovely scent, you can also make simple syrup from dried buds to infuse tea or cocktails, like this refreshing gin mixture.
What's in season: Jalapeños What to make: Watermelon Jalapeño MargaritasThis spicy vegetable thrives in warmer months. To add a bit of kick to your cocktails, throw a few slices into a pitcher of pre-made drinks, like margaritas, or infuse the liquor separately. The longer the jalapeño sits, the spicier your drink will be.
More cocktail inspiration: