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Blog / Garden Tips

Grow your own delicious cocktails for every season

04 March 2016

One of the joys of having a garden with space to grow is that you can create your very own kitchen garden full of everything that you need to make your very own home grown cocktail ingredients.

Whether you have a small patio or large garden complete with veg plots, wooden greenhouses and large potting sheds, you can grow everything that you need really easily. Here is our guide on growing your own cocktails for every season.

Spring is a beautiful time of year and the produce that the season brings is perfect for making your own delicious Apricot Bellinis, Rhubarb and Gin Coolers and moreish Mojitos. Spring brings in bright and bold fruits and flowers ideal for some of our favourite spring cocktails that are perfect for dinner parties or for simply sipping in the garden.

Here is how to grow some of the ingredients for perfect spring cocktails

Growing Apricotsapricot-illustration

When to plant Apricots– November to March

Where to plant Apricots– Plant in a deep raised bed or large pot. Apricots prefer a warmer climate so they are best grown in a lean to grow house or medium polycarbonate greenhouse.

Maintenance:

  • Feeding – Apricot plants need feeding around February to help them establish well. The best food is one suited for fruit trees.
  • Mulching – In early spring you will need to enrich the soil that your apricot tree sits in. This can be done by adding a layer of well rotted manure to the area around the roots.

If you would like some tips on growing fruit trees you can check out our blog guide on 'growing fruit trees' here.

Cocktail – Apricot Bellini

Ingredients – pureed apricot, sparkling wine, mint leaf to garnish

Growing Rhubarb

When to plant – November to March from a cutting known as a ‘crown’

Where to plant - Plant in a deep raised bed or in the ground where it can get access to well drained soil. It must be able to get full sunlight all day.

Maintenance

  • Feed - Rhubarb doesn’t require lots of food just a general purpose food applied in March will be plenty
  • Mulch – Keep weeds away by applying well-rotted mulch to the top of the soil

Cocktail - Rhubarb Elderflower Gin Cooler

Ingredients – Rhubarb (chopped), sugar, Rosemary, Rhubarb Syrup, Elderflower cordial, gin 

Start growing your herbs in spring

Spring is the perfect time of year to start growing your own herbs. You can grow them inside or outside either in containers or in the ground. Most herbs need medium to full sun, well drained soil, and will need to be pruned to keep growing well. The best herbs for cocktails are mint, basil, lemon thyme, rosemary, lemon-grass and lavender.

Summertime is the best time of year for impromptu garden parties and relaxing in the sunshine at weekends. Your garden will be full of cocktail ingredients so you can make Pimms, Strawberry Daiquiris, and French Martinis to keep you going all summer long.

Here is how to grow everything that you will need for summer cocktails

Growing Strawberries

When to plant – September to October from a plant

Where to plant – In a Strawberry container with well drained soil

Maintenance

  • Feed – In March you will need to feed the plant with a general fertiliser and in summer when the growing is more prominent, feed ever 1-2weeks with a tomato fertiliser
  • Mulch – Put straw on top of the soil and under fruits so that they don’t rot

For more information about growing Strawberries check out our fool proof guide to growing strawberries here

Cocktail - Strawberry Daquiri

Ingredients – Strawberries, lime, spirit

 

Growing Raspberries

When to plant – November to March

Where to plant – Raspberries are climbers so they need to be supported by canes and will need to be able to ‘climb’ up a trellis or fence. They can be planted in containers as long as the container is positioned next to something that the plant can climb up

Maintenance

  • Feed - In early March apply slow-release fertiliser such as fish blood and bone
  • Mulch – Put a layer of well-rotted manure on the soil around April time to help protect from weeds and diseases

Cocktail - French Martini

Ingredients: French Raspberry Liqueur, Pineapple Juice, Lemon

 

Growing Cucumber – Perfect mixed into a summer punch such as Pimms

When to plant cucumber– March to June

Where to plant cucumber– You can plant in a greenhouse or in the ground. The vine type leaves will need ‘training’ to use a climber and will need lots of light.

Maintenance

  • Feed - When you plant the seeds you will need to mix in a general fertiliser and rich garden compost
  • Mulch – Top the soil with garden compost that has been well-rotted

Cocktail- Pimms and Lemonade 

Cucumber, strawberries, mint, orange

Growing Tomatoes

When to plant tomatoes – February to April

Where to plant tomatoes – Tomatoes are best grown in a greenhouse for optimum growth and flavour. It’s best to start them off in a grow bag with supports for it to start climbing.

Maintenance

  • Feed - Feed every 10-14 days with a balanced liquid fertiliser, changing to a high potash one once the first fruits start to set.
  • Mulch – Top the soil with a rich garden compost

Cocktails - Bloody Mary

Ingredients: Tomato juice, celery, lemon, Worcestershire sauce

As the days start to get shorter and cooler we tend to crave warming flavours to help us get into the season. Autumn is abundant with earthy berries and stone fruits such as Apples and Plumbs that are perfect for cocktails such as Berry Crushes, Pear and Lemon margarita and Spiced Apple Cocktails.

Here is how to grow the ingredients that you need for autumn cocktails

Growing Blackberries

When to plant blackberries – January to March

Where to plant blackberries – In rows in the straight into well drained soil where it can get plenty of sun

Maintenance

  • Feed – March with a fruit tree fertiliser
  • Mulch - In April, add a well-rotted garden compost to the top of the soil around the roots. You will only have to do this whilst the tree is getting established.

Growing Pears

When to plant pears – December to February

Where to plant  pears - The ideal position for a pear tree is a sunny, sheltered site, well away from any frost pockets. Avoid poorly drained or shallow soils.

Maintenance

  • Feed - March with a fruit tree fertiliser
  • Mulch - In April, add a well-rotted garden compost to the top of the soil around the roots. You will only have to do this whilst the tree is getting established.

 

Growing Figs

When to plant – March to April

Where to plant - For figs in containers, plant ideally March-April into a pot one size larger than the original.

Maintenance

  • Feed - In spring, apply a general-purpose granular feed and mulch around the base of fan trained plants, with well-rotted organic matter, to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Once the figs appear, apply liquid tomato fertiliser every two to three weeks during the growing season, until they start to ripen. Water well during summer.
  • Mulch – Well rotted garden compost during the spring

Cocktail – Fig and Honey Cocktail

Ingredients: figs, honey, ginger beer and lemon juice

 

grow-your-own-cocktails-winter-section-banner

Although winter may not yield that much produce, you can still make some fab cocktails that double up as winter warmers. You can make mulled wine using home grown cranberries and oranges, as well as spiced warm cider and even use any left-over produce from autumn such as juicy berries and figs.

Here is how to grow the ingredients that you need for winter cocktails

Winter berries, warm cider, mulled wine

Growing Cranberries

When to plant - November to April

Where to plant - Cranberries need organic, rich, moist to boggy acidic soils, ideally at pH 4.5, in an open, sunny site. Although they like constantly moist conditions, plants should sit above the water.

  • Feed - During the spring with a general fruit fertisliser
  • Mulch - Add a layer of well rotted garden compost and mix in some sulphur if the acidity levels in the soil are too low.

Cocktail - Mulled Wine

Ingredients- Cranberries, rosemary, mixed spices, wine

Growing Clementines

When to plant – April to June

Where to plant – In a container which can be kept in a no-heat greenhouse during the cooler months

Clementine plant maintenance:

  • Feed – Clementine need to be feed regularly between April and September with a fruit tree fertiliser
  • Mulch – Add a layer of well-rotted garden compost at the base of the plant to keep it protected against weeds and infection.

Cocktail – Berry Crush

Vodka, clementine slices, blackberries, pomegranate, soda water

Thank you for reading our guide on growing your own cocktails for every season. If you enjoy growing the ingredients why not go one step further and brew your own home gown liqueurs? Keep an eye on the blog for a guide on how to brew your own cocktails soon!

In the meantime we hope that you have a go at growing some of these and if you need any advice please take a look at our blog where you'll find articles on growing fruit trees, planning a vegetable garden, and pet friendly gardens. 

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