The one plant you should grow for delicious homemade cocktails, according to a top London bartender

Bourne & Hollingsworth top mixologist shares the plants to grow to take your garden party to the next level

Cocktail by Bourne & Hollingsworth bar in London
(Image credit: Bourne & Hollingsworth)

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. 

Cocktail by Bourne & Hollingsworth bar in London

(Image credit: Bourne & Hollingsworth)

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. 

Bourne & Hollingsworth Living bar with plant-filled tables

The Living Bar

(Image credit: Bourne & Hollingsworth)

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.' 

Mint cocktail by Bourne & Hollingsworth bar in London

(Image credit: Bourne & Hollingsworth)

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.'

Bourne & Hollingsworth bar in London

(Image credit: Bourne & Hollingsworth)

See: Garden bar ideas to inspire a summer of entertaining

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 Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US whilst studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.