Bruising, or partially crushing, the verbena helps draw out its essential oils. Substitute vodka for gin, if you prefer. If you make this cocktail ahead, stir in club soda just before serving so the drink stays fizzy.
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup torn verbena leaves
3/4 cup dry gin
3/4 cup club soda, chilled
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
Lemon verbena sprigs (optional)
Lime slices (optional)
How to Make It
Combine 1 cup water and sugar in a small saucepan. Rub torn verbena to bruise; add to pan. Bring sugar mixture to a boil, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly; cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat; cool completely. Strain mixture through a sieve over a bowl; discard solids.
Combine sugar mixture, gin, soda, and juice. Serve over ice. Garnish with verbena sprigs and lime slices, if desired.