With Conner Collins, 46 North Pints & Provisions. Photos by Hillary Ehlen
Our gardens are ripe with the herbs we’ve planted with care and now it’s time to put those greens to good use! When the sun is shining and our patios are begging to host parties, what better way to use your hand-grown herbs than in fresh, summery cocktails? Join us as 46 North mixologist Conner Collins shows how to make some refreshing and fun cocktails with unique strains of herbs.
It’s Lemon Thyme
- 1.5 oz Nectarine Vodka
- ¾ – 1 oz Brazilian Passionfruit Liqueur
- 1.5 oz Lemon Thyme Simple Syrup
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- Dash of Soda
Mix vodka, passionfruit liqueur, lemon thyme simple syrup and fresh-squeezed lemon juice together in a shaker with a sprig of lemon thyme. Adding this extra sprig of lemon thyme aids in creating an herbaceous flavor to the end result. Strain and pour over crushed ice and top it off with just a splash of soda to add some carbonation. Garnish with lemon thyme and lemon and orange twists.
Simple Syrup Tip: Making your own infused simple syrup is of low difficulty and high reward. Making a simple syrup is as easy as mixing equal parts (1:1) water and sugar. First, heat your water on a stovetop. Once the water is heated, mix the equivalent amount of sugar to the water and let it dissolve, turning into a thicker, cloudy mixture. Once the sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat and add a bunch of your desired herb (or fruit) and let sit until the mixture is cooled. In a glass container, this can last up to three weeks refrigerated — imagine all the cocktails!
Cinnamon Basil Smash
- Lemon Slice
- 1.5 oz Basil Simple Syrup
- A Bunch of Cinnamon Basil
- 1.5 oz Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
In a glass, add a lemon slice, basil simple syrup and one bunch of cinnamon basil. Use a muddler to muddle these ingredients together, releasing oils and combining the lemon and cinnamon basil. Once muddled, add the bourbon, fill with ice and stir to chill. Serve strained over crushed ice in a rocks glass and garnish with candied lemons and cinnamon basil.
Bourbon Tip: Since minimal ingredients are being used, use a lower proof bourbon so that the bourbon flavor doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. In this example, we used Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon, because with “Basil” in the name, we just had to!
Chocolate Mint Tequila Mojito
- 6-7 leaves Chocolate Mint
- 1.5 oz Honeydew Simple Syrup
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- Orange Peel
- 2 oz Blanco Tequila
- Dash of Soda
Add six to seven chocolate mint leaves, honeydew simple syrup, fresh-squeezed lemon juice and an orange peel into a glass. Use a muddler to muddle these ingredients together to release their oils. Then add the tequila and stir into crushed ice. Top off with a dash of soda to finish it off.
Tequila Tip: When it comes to tequila, generally the higher the age and the darker the color, the sweeter it is. With this Mojito-inspired cocktail, there’s already quite a bit of sweetness, thanks to the honeydew simple syrup. To make sure the drink isn’t too overwhelming, we opted for a blanco tequila to create the perfect combination of flavor.
Meet The Mixologist
Conner Collins is the bar manager at 46 North Pints & Provisions, located at 635 2nd Ave North in downtown Fargo. He handcrafts the 46 North drink menu and always has a new specialty drink up his sleeve. To see more of his work, follow along at @bartenderofthenorth.