When spring comes around, lemon balm appears in my kitchen. It's a great herb that can be used in many dishes and cocktails to add an earthy lemony presence. I love lemon balm because it always marries the sour with the green. I'm sharing two easy ways to use lemon balm in cocktails that are perfect for your next outdoor relaxing day.
Gin in the Sun
2 oz Gin
1 oz Lemon juice
Four Strawberries (Thinly Sliced)
Three or Four Lemon Balm Leaves
Optional Simple Syrup
Garnish: Strawberry and lemon Balm
Recipe: In a cocktail shaker, muddle strawberry slices and lemon balm together. Add a little simple syrup if you like things to be a little sweeter. Then add ice, gin, and lemon juice. Give it a nice shake (about twenty seconds) and then strain it into a coupe glass. Garnish with a little lemon balm and strawberries. This cocktail is perfect paired with a hard cheese, crackers, or something with a little salt. Perfect for sipping on your porch while looking out. This simple cocktail packs a punch but also doesn't overpower.
Bourbon always rings twice
2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Lemon juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
Three muddled Lemon Balm leaves
Garnish: Lemon Balm
Recipe: This cocktail is one of my favorite after work cocktails in the spring. It is easy to make and perfect after a long day where you just want to sit outside and listen to the birds. To build this cocktail, you muddle your lemon balm and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Then you add ice, bourbon, and lemon juice. If you wanted to make it very sweet, you could add a half ounce of Cointreau or Orange Liqueur. This would make it less sour and more like a bourbon lemon drop (which is not a bad idea!). You shake your cocktail up and then pour into a coupe glass and garnish it with a few lemon balm leaves. Simple, easy, and divine.