By Megan Slack
While we love spending our Friday nights sipping expertly-made cocktails in our favorite bars, we're equally ready to enjoy garden party season in all its glory.
Thankfully for us, the bar manager at one of London's most celebrated bars, Bourne & Hollingsworth, is on hand to share their flavorful garden ideas – and show us how to mirror the taste of their cocktails from our homes. The secret includes growing the staple ingredients ourselves.
But why Bourne & Hollingsworth? Despite being a firm Livingetc favorite (we've already lusted over its plant-filled interiors here), the restaurant has just launched The Living Bar – which is an indoor edible garden and cocktail feast for the senses.
With plant-infused drinks at the forefront of their menu, their top cocktail creator, Rhidian Turner, has picked up some tips for the green-thumbed cocktail enthusiasts among us all.
The one plant we should grow for cocktails – according to Bourne & Hollingsworth
'It's hard to narrow it down to a single plant, but if forced to choose, I'd say mint in all of its glorious varieties. There are so many wonderful flavor profiles, from apple mint, ginger mint, chocolate, lemon balm, and even sweet pear, alongside the more common varieties. They are thriving in our Living Bar at Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings,' Rhidian says.
'Changing up your mint can radically change a cocktail from a familiar flavor to something fresh and new. It makes for a simple but elegant garnish as well,' he adds.
How to grow mint for delicious cocktails
While we're fairly convinced that we'll enjoy any kind of mint cocktail, Rhidian offers his growing tips that will elevate your drink further – and truly mark your place as a cocktail master amongst fellow party-goers.
'Most mint varieties enjoy full sun to partial shade. I have learned at my own cost to plant it in its own box planter as it can muscle out other plants,' he shares.
'Other than that, water it frequently and let it be. As well as the leaves, the flowers are edible and can add a dash of color to your garnishes.' Plus, city-dwellers don't need to worry about the urban growing conditions as Rhidian suggests it is a 'great plant for a city garden, or even a balcony or windowsill [and the] flowers are great for pollinators too.'
See: Urban gardening ideas – 16 ways to make the most of your outdoor space in the city
Why we should grow our own mint
As many industries look to become more sustainable – the drinks industry is no exception.
'Growing your own produce is a great step towards that, which is what we're trying to do at Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings' Living Bar,' Rhidian explains. 'On top of that, the difference in flavor between homegrown, organic fruit, veg, and herbs and the alternatives is huge.'
And in case you needed any more convincing to grow your own mint, it's also a primary ingredient in Pimm's, the cocktail Rhidian crowns as the 'ultimate garden party beverage,' and needless to say, we trust his opinion on these matters.
We'll raise a glass to that.
Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly loves writing about contemporary styles and trends for Livingetc.
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