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How to Plant a Cocktail Herb Garden

Ask This Old House landscape designer Jenn Nawada teaches Kevin O’Connor how to plant a small herb garden with a cocktail theme

Planting an herb garden

  1. For a cocktail garden, mint and variations of mint are a good place to start. They will require being planted in a separate planter or away from other herbs, since they can overtake a garden.
  2. Basil can also be great as a replacement for mint in a variety of cocktails.
  3. Herbs like rosemary, thyme and dill can be muddled down and turned into a syrup to mix with cocktails. They can pair with most liquors, but do better with vodka, gin, or other neutral spirits.
  4. In general, Jenn thinks that creating a garden with a purpose will help encourage you to learn about the plants and maintain the garden well.


Jenn planted a variety of herbs to make up the cocktail garden, including basil amethyst, basil nufar, English thyme, rosemary prostrates, strawberry, dill, lemon thyme, verbena lemon, berggarten sage, mint mojito, rosemary barbecue, and lemon grass. These can be used to enhance a variety of different beverages. All these herbs can be found at nurseries.

Expert assistance with this segment was provided by Mahoney’s Garden Center and America’s Test Kitchen.