A Bartender’s Garden: The Perfect Companion

A Bartender's Garden: The Perfect Summer Companion
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Excited about entertaining in your resort style backyard? A key component to entertaining guests is serving amazing cocktails. We all know fresh ingredients make everything taste better. So, why not grow your own cocktail ingredients in a bartender’s garden?

Crafting the perfect cocktail can be a part of any successful party or family get together. You’ll need a good recipe of course, but wouldn’t it be handy to have all the ingredients close by and fresh? Why not plant your own “Bartender’s Garden”?

What to Grow in a Bartender’s Garden

Meyer lemon is a great addition to a bartender’s garden

Maintaining trees in your landscaping takes energy and resources. Why not get a return on that investment by planting trees you can use in a bartender’s garden?

A bartender’s garden is made up of trees and other plants you can use in cocktail recipes. 

Many cocktail recipes call for citrus juices and wedges. Lucky for us, citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges grow well in southern California. They also come with other bonuses. In the spring and summer they are very fragrant, and they remain evergreens in southern California – providing needed color to your lawn year round.

Citrus trees come in dwarf, semi-dwarf, and standard sizes. They can be grown either in the ground or in pots. Dwarf trees reach 5-7ft tall. Semi-dwarf grow 7-12 ft tall. And standard size trees can reach 20ft. If you need shade, a standard size tree could be right for you, but for most residential lawns they are just too big. A dwarf or semi-dwarf is usually the better option for most homeowners even though the fruit is smaller.

Other plants, herbs, and spices are also great additions to a bartender’s garden. Basil is used in a variety of cocktail recipes and is actually easy to grow in California climates. Other common cocktail herbs include mint, sage, and rosemary.

Let’s look at some of our favorite cocktails made with the aid of a bartender’s garden. 



For margaritas you will need lemons and limes. So, how about planting a citrus tree that grows both! 

Citrus trees can be grafted together at the root stock in order to produce multiple fruits on one tree. They grow smaller and produce smaller fruit, but they can produce 2 to 4 different kinds of fruit. This makes “citrus cocktail” trees fantastic for smaller yards. Talk about convenience! 

In order to make the quintessential margarita, you will need to juice fresh lemons and limes. Mix with top-quality tequila, orange liqueur, and agave syrup. Add coarse salt to the rim of your glass. Enjoy. 

But if you really want to wow your guests, make your own homemade orange liqueur from oranges fresh from your tree. Sweet!

And for those who like their cocktails spicy, grow jalapeno in pots in your garden. Then kick up your margarita recipe by adding fresh jalapeno pepper. Spicy and delicious! 


Moscow Mules 

Another favorite of ours is a Moscow mule made with fresh lime and ginger. All you need to do is plant ginger (yes, ginger is easy to grow in California climates) under a Bearss Lime tree. 

For a Moscow mule combine high quality vodka, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and 1 TBSP of freshly grated ginger in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass. Top with club soda and garnish with a lime wedge.

Simply perfect. And made from your backyard bartender’s garden.



Really, is there anything better than a mojito over ice on a hot day? We think not.

All you need for the perfect mojito are high quality white rum, sparkling water, and simple syrup mixed with muddled mint and fresh lime juice. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge and more mint leaves straight from your garden. 

Mint is very easy to grow. You can plant it right under your Bearss Lime tree. It will take off rapidly. Mint can be hard to get rid of, so when you plant it, you are truly making a commitment to the perfect mojito.


Grilled Pluot Cocktail 

You can also grow a pluot tree in a bartender’s garden. 

Pluots are a hybrid fruit. They are 75% plum and 25% apricot. This fruit is sweet and delicious, especially when grilled. 

To make a grilled pluot cocktail, place the grilled fruit on the bottom of a mixing glass. Muddle with honey syrup. Add fresh Meyer lemon juice, aged balsamic vinegar, and vodka. Then shake. 

Double strain over ice in a highball glass and top with sparkling water. Garnish with more grilled pluots.


Cuba Libre & Mexican Beer

Limes from a Mexican lime tree are smaller and they are great in a Cuba Libre or in a Mexican beer. 

For traditional cuba libres juice limes from a Mexican lime tree and mix the juice with high quality light rum. Top with dark cola and you’re all set.

Since Mexican limes are smaller than traditional limes, they fit easily into the bottle of your favorite Mexican beer.

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