Experts on crafting weed drinks from your garden

garden weed drinks

In the summer months, artists and creators find inspiration in nature. Birdsongs flutter to earth, and clouds float over blue skies–the potential for revelations is everywhere. It is especially true for the culinary creators gazing at their gardens of herbs, fruit, and vegetables for their next ingredient inspiration gifted by the long summer days.

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Herbaceous mixers and vegetal spritzers grace seasonal cocktail menus this season as master bartenders tend to their herb gardens. I’ve capitalized on summer flavors recently with a packed week of social drinks dates. That means I have tried various summer cocktail offerings from the bars and restaurants of Bellingham, Wash.

My favorite, which I can not shut up about, was the Portofino at Storia Cucina with gin, lemon, tonic, celery bitters, and a little salt that drew the refreshing qualities of the vegetable. I had some other vibrant drinks, but this one has stayed on the tip of my tongue because of the delicate dance of each flavor note. Lemon brought brightness to the celery while the salt grounded it in a divine combination.

Celery is a common fridge staple used in salads, slaws, and soups, but a mixed drink was a pleasant surprise. Knowing what I know about lemon or grapefruit-flavored weed seltzers, I’m sure the right canned THC drink could recreate a version of it. Also, if celery can be a star cocktail ingredient with a dash of lemon and salt, I naturally wondered what common garden herbs, vegetables, and fruits might pair well in a drink with cannabis. So, I turned to some experts.

Experts on garden-forward weed drinks

Heather Klein, CEO of Root to Rise Kitchen and HiFlora!, serves guests a non-alcoholic drinks menu featuring euphoric herbs and cannabis. When it comes to the garden, she loves basil in a mocktail or weed drink. The bountiful, bushy garden herb adds a bite that works in tandem with pot’s herbaceous qualities–and they play well together in the soil.

“When you grow the two together in the garden, the basil helps the growth of the terpenes and keeps unwanted insects off the cannabis,” Klein said.

Basil is no stranger to the mixed drink universe. Basil Gimlets are a timeless classic, and the bright green leaves and stems also add equal parts color and bite to a sweet lemonade. Like other leafy herbs, basil can be rubbed on a glass rim for a whisper of flavor, muddled into the glass, or infused in a syrup or weed seltzer.

Warren Bobrow, cofounder of Klaus drinks brand and cannabis alchemist, loves thai basil in drinks.

“I adore Thai basil. I use it with all sorts of things,” Brobrow said. “A Bloody Mary with Thai basil speaks of New Orleans, especially with a whole fried chicken as a garnish. And I also love tarragon. I rub it in a Boston shaker and then make a Ramos gin fizz around the licorice like flavor. Or a mint julep with rye whiskey and THC infused simple strong syrup. That’s the one.”

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Author and drinks expert Jamie Evans also loves basil but called out another common leafy herb when I asked her this big question.

“For garden herbs, I love using fresh mint in several different types of drinks, including mocktails, cocktails, juices, and smoothies,” Evans said. “It adds an incredible freshness that pairs perfectly with summer flavors.”

The mocktail maven also enjoys working citrus-forward shiso leaf with the muddler. Find a Shiso Mojito recipe in the new High Times: Let’s Get Baked! The Official Cannabis Cookbook, co-authored by Evans and Bay Area weed chef Haejin Chun.

Each herb mentioned–basil, mint, and shiso–adds a distinct flavor to the drinks they grace, much like the celery bitters that I write about in my journal. Home bartenders seeking a vegetable for their latest creation in the raised bed need look no further than cucumber. Evans recommends using fresh cucumber juice with freshly squeezed lime, club soda, and a touch of sweetness for a non-alcoholic summer drink worth leaving unadulterated.

Summer inspiration doesn’t stop at the sights and sounds of sunshine-filled days–it comes from the flavors, too. Next time you crunch into a freshly plucked snap pea or sip on a bright cannabis cocktail featuring seasonal herbs, remember it only takes a small patch of dirt (and this article) to do it yourself.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.