Drinking the Summer Garden Giveaway & Free Bonus Recipe

Our first pocketbook, “Drinking the Summer Garden” has been out for a week. Now that the flurry to publish has started to settle, we’ve decided to roll out a few fun surprises.

Homegrown Crème de Menthe

As with all of my books, I have put together a few free bonus downloads. The first is a recipe for homegrown Crème de Menthe that I think you will love, especially if you have a ton of mint in your garden that needs to be used up pronto. As I mentioned in the recipe intro, crème de menthe was one of the very first liqueurs that I enjoyed. My favourite way to have it then was as a grasshopper, a drink that is so sickly sweet I never imagined that I would ever drink it again. Fortunately, the homemade version is about a thousand times better than anything I’ve bought commercially. I love it! I made the recipe as a small batch, but you can easily double or triple it if you’d prefer a larger batch for gifting. I used 80-proof vodka as it is most widely available. However, 100-proof vodka is great if you can get it — just be sure to add more simple syrup to taste. Finally, the real deal is traditionally made using corsican mint. Again, I adjusted my recipe to be concocted using any mint that you have available since corsican mint is a bit of an acquired taste and harder to come by. I suggest a really strong spearmint to capture that cool minty bite.

Download the free, printable Crème de Menthe recipe here

Please come back if you make it and tell us how it turned out!

$9.99 eBook Bundle $19.99 Paperback


For the second surprise, we’ve decided to giveaway three eBook bundles. To enter, tell us in the comments below about your favourite summer drink. We shared our favourites in our bios at the back of the book. Davin loves sour citrus drinks so his favourite is the Mint Limonada recipe in the book. Mine is a bloody mary sipped through a lovage straw. My homegrown recipe for that drink was published in my previous book, “Easy Growing: Organic Herbs and Edible Flowers from Small Spaces.”

I will draw three winners tomorrow night (Thursday, August 9, 2012) at 9pm EST.

Update: Thanks for entering, the winners have been contacted.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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81 thoughts on “Drinking the Summer Garden Giveaway & Free Bonus Recipe

  1. I would love to have something like this, despite the fact that I won’t be able to use the alcoholic versions. Recently I love making my bone broths and dropping fresh basil leaves in to give it a nice flavor to such a healthy drink!

  2. Melon Agua Fresca with a touch of vodka is my favorite. Watermelon and cantaloupe fresh from the garden make it even better.

  3. My favorite summertime drink is the basic sun-brewed tea with plenty of mint leaves. I would love to have this book to better utilize the herbs from my garden!

  4. I love a spicy Bloody Mary in late summer made from my own tomatoes that I muddle. Would love to learn how to make my own celery salt. Or even hot sauce to add in. Have two of your garden books – love them!

  5. It’s hard to choose just one favorite! I like a good old-fashioned lemonade, made with fresh lemons from the backyard.

  6. My favorite summer drink of late is the Pimm’s cup. The cucumber slice definitely makes it, but I may add some herbal flavor with borage this weekend.

  7. My favorite drink ever is mimosa, anytime anywhere. But specifically summer? I’d have to choose “summer beer” a drink that is popular in our part of kansas. It is lemonade, vodka and beer, might sound gross but tastes delish!

  8. My favorite topic! My favorite drink is my homemade meyer lemoncello (meyer lemons in vodka) in sparkling water. It’s refreshing and light. Wonderful!

    Thanks for doing this giveaway!

  9. A good gin and tonic is one of the markers of summer for me. This year we’ve been mixing in cucumber and basil or rosemary simple syrup.

  10. I love to keep it simple – a pitcher of water with my homegrown mint and lemon verbena mottled at the bottom. Refreshes every time.

  11. My favourite summer drink is a non-alcoholic cocktail made with a big handful of mint leaves, elderflower cordial and soda water, all shaken together with ice and drunk through a straw :)

  12. I love anything refreshing, but usually go with unsweetened iced tea. On my 21st birthday eons ago, I was waitressing and at the end of a 12-hour work day, the bartender (in his sixties) said he’d make me any drink I wanted (my first alcoholic drink!)…my choice was a grasshopper. I loved it!…but haven’t had one since. BUT I love mint and grow it, so I’m making this creme de menthe. Thanks!!!

  13. My favourite summer drink is an elderflower cordial made with homemade elderflower syrup. This year I made a big batch of syrup (with lots of extra citric acid until it tested low enough on the pH scale to can) so that I can have a summer drink to brighten up the winter too!

  14. One of my favorites is club soda with Chocolate mint (from my garden) and three drops of any bitter.

  15. Home made lemon rosemary syrup, vodka, and plenty of club soda in a tall glass. Perfect way to end a long week…

  16. Wow, I love reading about everyone’s drinks so far. My favorite summer drink is a Mojito. Sometimes we make it with Lemongrass from the garden which adds a really nice touch. I had a lavender mojito at a bar and am planning to try to make one of those soon. I would love to try the jalapeno mojito, and to try to make elderflower syrup.

  17. I was canning peaches last week, and I ended up with a few jars of peach syrup left over. I’ve been using it in sparkling water, club soda, and mojitos- very tasty!

  18. Anything really as long as its cold:) I’m off to buy vodka so I can try your creme de menthe recipe. I have 3-4 different types of mint, growing mainly as ground covers. I think there is a fresh, untrammpled, healthy patch of spearmint growing by the shed.

  19. My favorite is a blackberry mint julep. I think I got the recipe from Martha Stewart. Right now blackberries are in season here in the piney woods of East Texas. And, what is more southern than a min julep?

  20. I always have sun tea with lemon verbena in the fridge but I also love some fresh blueberry lemonade when the blueberries are is season. If I need a cocktail, we love whipping up watermelon margaritas with mint.

  21. Raspberry Lemonade always hits the spot on a hot summer day – especially when you pick the raspberries yourself!

  22. I can’t wait for my mint to grow so I can make this. My favorite summer drink is mugicha which is a roasted barley tea.

  23. My favorite summer drink is a mojito made with mint from my garden and mint-ginger simple syrup (that I make from the first round of mint pulling I do every summer. Mint and I have a great relationship: I let it grow wherever it wants in our garden, and I pull up anything growing too close to other plants to use in my kitchen! If only all ‘weeds’ behaved so).

    • Me too! I *almost* put my version in the pocketbook since it is such a quintessential summer drink but decided against it.

  24. That’s a hard one to pick. Whatever one I am currently drinking? Haha! How about Prosecco with homemade cassis.

  25. My favorite summer drink is definitely a mojito! I’m growing spearmint this year because of it =) I also love gin and tonic with some smashed blackberries in it!

  26. My favorite summer drink is a sweet mojito but I also enjoy our traditonal party punch (made with rhum, pineaple juice, orange juice and fresh berries)

  27. Iced tea with honey and a bit of mint. Looking forward to adding this book to my kitchen and my collection of your books!

  28. I would love to win this prize! My go to drink is the 13th century drink Sekanjabin – a simple syrup with the addition of some wine vinegar and lots of mint. there is no vinegar after taste, and to my mind it is more refreshing watered down to taste over ice than lemonade. It also is an effective cough syrup!
    Yvonne – thanks for the reminder, I must search out some mugicha, I haven’t had it in years!

  29. My favourite summer drink is a mojito, with fresh mint from my first ever garden :) This drink is nice and refereshing on a hot summer day.

  30. My favourite non-alcoholic summer drink is simply lemonade with mint, it’s the best. Secondly I love a ceaser with a celery stalk from my garden.

  31. My favorite is pretty common in Austin – frozen strawberry margarita, though I’m also a big fan of homemade hibiscus mint vodka martinis. So yummy!

  32. My favorite summer drink is our family’s decaf mint tea:
    A simple syrup, enfused with homegrown mint and lemon juice added when cool. Unfortunately has too much sugar!


  33. My favorite summer drink is a rhubarb punch with ginger ale – it’s to die for. I also love a good sun brewed iced tea!

  34. homemade lemonade or limeade with lots of ice, close second or third? mint squishie = blendered mint leaves with water, (pulp squished out, frozen to use in mint chocolate chip cookies in winter), sugar or honey added to taste

  35. My favorite summer drink is: lime muddled with raw sugar, ice to fill the glass (but you have to crack it with the other end of the muddler so it’s not big cubes), fill most of the way with Southern Comfort and top with a splash of ginger ale. That, to me, is summer.

  36. I love to make iced lemon verbena and rose tea sweetened with agave syrup!! Especially when they have grown right in my garden!

  37. I’ve been enjoying mojitos made with mint from my balcony garden and homemade lavender simple syrup!

  38. What a gorgeous book! I want to lick it!

    My favorite summer adult beverage is something called a Mojo: Spicy Blenheim’s Ginger Ale (from South Carolina) + vanilla vodka + a squeeze of lime.

    Insanely, ridiculously, delicious. See also: dangerous ;)

  39. I invented Sage Flower Martinis this year. Take a few handfuls of sage flowers and steep them in sugar and water. Strain and cool. Add ice, white vermouth, sage flower syrup and a twist of lemon. Amazing! You could add more booze eg vodka but it’s more fun to be able to drink more for the taste, IMO.

  40. Mojitos with mint from the garden, or jallab (arabic drink with pomegranate molasses syrup and pine nuts)…

  41. Wow, i love that bloody mary with lovage as a straw suggestion! My newest favorite is moscow mule. Spicey ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice – yum!

  42. My favorite summer drink is a Sparkling Basil Lemonade. I use fresh basil picked from the garden, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and lemon flavored sparkling water.

  43. Lemonade. Or iced herbal tea, with orange & rose hips & hibiscus flowers. Though we’re starting to have a good time with crushed borage leaves in cold water, with a borage flower for garnish.

  44. I would love to enter the giveaway…my favorite summer drink this year is a blackberry fizz, usually with a little gin! yum!

  45. I’ve filled the small jelly jars with beeswax and a candle wick to make container candles. Mostly I use these jars for my two favorite jams: apricot and raspberry-rhubarb. When I give them as gifts the recipients always seems to feel like they’ve been given two gifts in one: a beautiful jar and the delicious edible inside!

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