There’s no herb more crucial to cocktailing than mint. For all its potency, the cooling, sweet leaf is exceedingly versatile in numerous styles of cocktails. Smash it with citrus in a bourbon refresher, muddle it with rum in a crushed-ice beauty, or shake it with cucumber in an herbal gin sipper.
Whether you’re a fan of dark spirits or clear, mint can bring some freshness to your boozing. In fairweather months, mint is even more crucial: think juleps, swizzles, and our favorite tropical and tiki drinks.
A cross between a sazerac and a whiskey smash, this cocktail recipe by Suffolk Arms head bartender Caitlin Ryan highlights the versatility of Copper & Kings American Craft Brandy, a brandy made in the American bourbon tradition. Unbeknownst to many, the traditional sazerac recipe called for brandy, as opposed to rye. Playing off Copper & Kings’ musical ethos—all barrels are sonically-aged, with music used to agitate the spirit—the name of the cocktail comes from a line in Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man.” Get the recipe for Sweet Talking Son Cocktail >>
At first sip, lime juice and fresh mint refresh the taste buds, but soon the smoky and spicy undertones of chipotle-infused mezcal creep over the palate. A touch of Cynar, an unusual liqueur made from artichokes, adds a veil of mystery. Get the recipe for Devil’s Garden »
This sweet (but not too sweet) cocktail is a terrific vehicle for Chartreuse; when we tested it, it converted even the most adamant opponents to the herbal, bright-green liqueur. Get the recipe for Chartreuse Smash »
Inspired by a recipe developed by mixologist Lynn House of the Chicago restaurant Blackbird, this is an ideal cocktail to show off the fruity side of Cognac. Peach preserves meld beautifully with the spirit’s soft sweetness, while mint adds a bright finish. Get the recipe for The Wild Ruffian »
In addition to using caraway and dill—the most traditional flavors for aquavit—in Sweden, home cooks make the spirit with an infinite variety of spices, herbs, and other flavorful botanicals. Get the recipe for Swedish Mint Julep