We’re slightly obsessed with distinctive, bold, savoury flavours here at One Gin. That’s why we’d like to shine a light on a few of our favourite herbs and share some tips on how you can grow them at home – ready to use at any time in cooking, baking or to add that extra special garnish to a refreshingly different G&T or cocktail.
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sage, our signature botanical, has been used as a spice and remedy for over 2,000 years. Known for its healing properties, its name derives from the Latin word “salvare”, which means “to save”.
Not only does sage have a savoury, peppery and herbaceous flavour, but it can also increase body strength and mental capacity and has been used as a treatment for sore throats, ulcers, alopecia, ulcers, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, and even the menopause.
Sage is the star botanical in One Gin and a beautiful garnish too. Try our signature Gin & Tonic – One Gin poured over lots of ice with a premium tonic water, garnished with freshly cut apple slices and a sage leaf or two.
But this extraordinary herb isn’t limited to after 5 O’clock, sage tea can be easily made by steeping a few leaves in boiling water for up to five minutes. Perfect for helping you unwind, it’s also rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, and promotes healthy skin.
Mint has been used as medicine and a symbol of hospitality for millennia. A rich source of vitamins A, C and B2, calcium, copper and magnesium, its name derives from the Greek mythological figure Minthe, a nymph who was transformed into the fragrant plant.
Since ancient times, mint has been used to treat digestive and respiratory troubles, as well as to welcome visitors when used in tea in the Middle East or as a natural fragrance in homes and temples in Greece.
Mint plants usually grow somewhat wild and their trailing, fragrant stems make them attractive houseplants. Add a sprig or two to garnish a Garden Punch or a South Side Soda for a refreshing summer fizz.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme is a small perennial of the mint family. The herb dates back to ancient Greece, where it symbolised courage and bravery. Roman soldiers bathed in water infused with thyme to gain vigor, courage and strength.
During the middle ages in Europe, a sprig of thyme was placed under the pillow to induce sleep and to prevent nightmares. More recently it has been used to treat bronchitis, fungal infections and acne.
The herb’s tiny leaves and trailing stems give it natural houseplant appeal. It also adds a herbaceous twist as a very special garnish in a One Gin Cobbler or our west African inspired cocktail Under the Baobab.
These three herbs make a perfect addition to any home herb garden. Simply follow these top tips for growing your own at home:
- Make sure the plants get enough light. The intensity of light affects the flavour of the herbs: those grown in a stronger light will have a more intense flavour.
- They prefer temperatures of around 20-25 degrees, so it’s best to keep them on a warm windowsill. However, take care when placing the plants close to windows, as on very warm days the glass can heat up and burn the leaves.
- Don’t over water. The key to growing herbs is to ensure the pots dry out between watering. The top of the soil dries out first, so although it may feel too dry, it is likely that there is still water in the bottom of the pot.
There is a wholesome joy around growing herbs at home, and something so rewarding about seeing them go straight from plant to a piece of garnish for your next drink. And what better way to spend some time in the garden this summer if you are unable to go away.
Check out our Pinterest board Herb Garden at Home for more tips and inspiration.