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Unleash Your Herbs: Drink Recipes and Home Uses

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Laura
05.13.13

The only thing better than multitasking is multitasking with cocktails. How can this be accomplished? With herbs! Since herbs are both versatile and potent, they’re kind of nature’s Jack of all trades. Common herbs can elevate beverages (adult and otherwise) to superstar status and be used just as effectively for household chores – one pinch, drop and sprig at a time!

Here are five herbs pleasing to your pad and palate:

Lavender

For your pad: Unlike your dirty laundry, lavender smells amazing. So amazing that it’s actually a proven aphrodisiac! Spread the love by placing several drops of lavender oil on a paper towel and placing it in the bottom of your clothes hamper.

For your palate: Take your lemonade to new heights of sophistication with this lavender recipe: Boil 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar and 2 tbsp. of lavender buds in a saucepan for two minutes. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes and then strain the liquid into a pitcher. Add 1 cup of lemon juice and about 5 cups of water to the pitcher. Then enjoy your next-level lemonade!

Photo: Sophistimom

Garlic

For your pad: Though it can repel humans in breath form, garlic also has adhesive properties. When freshly cut, a clove will release acids that can actually bind glass! For a temporary fix for hairline cracks on your glassware, gently rub a garlic clove on the crack and let the juice seep in.

For your palate: Once your glass pitcher is back in action, make a batch of Bloody Marys and add this super special secret ingredient. It’s a weekend brunch game-changer.

Photo: The Blond Cook

Eucalyptus

For your pad: Because eucalyptus smells great and repels fleas, it’s basically an herbal gift to dog kennels. Give Spot’s crib a cleaning by first brewing two bags of peppermint tea with two cups of water. Once cooled, add four drops of eucalyptus oil and transfer to a spray bottle. Spray onto all kennel surfaces and wipe clean.

For your palate: Reward your hard work with a eucalyptus martini! Just mix 50 ml gin with 25 ml of eucalyptus syrup and 12.5 ml of lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with ­­– you guessed it ­­– a eucalyptus leaf.

Oregano

For your pad: If mosquitoes have been known to rain on your patio-party parade, make an all-natural repellant from oregano. Simply add a few drops of oil of oregano (available at most health food stores) to your outdoor furniture before spending time outside. Then, enjoy the mosquito-free space! 

For your palate: If you’re looking for a soothing beverage, look no further than a homemade oregano chai! Boil 1 cup of water and add 1 tbsp. of powdered oregano, a pinch of cardamom, 1 tsp. of honey and 1 tsp. of lemon juice. Strain and drink…preferably in comfy sweatpants. Note: Oregano can have sedative qualities, so only drink this when you’re ready to hit the hay!

Mint

For you pad: Plant mint in your garden to keep nasty bugs (like ants and flies)­ at bay. At the same time, you’ll be luring in the good guys (such as honeybees and hoverflies) to help your plants thrive. 

For your palate: It’s probably no surprise that we’re going to suggest you make ultra-refreshing mojitos with your mint sprigs. Most people have the whole “mint, rum, lime and sugar” part of their mojito recipe down pat, but we have a suggestion: add strawberries. You can muddle them along with your mint leaves, and it will give your mojito a refreshing, fruity taste!

Photo: Iowa Girl Eats

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