Photo: Randy Mayor; Stylist: Cindy Barr
4 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

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.

How to Make It

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Combine sugar mixture, gin, soda, and juice. Serve over ice. Garnish with verbena sprigs and lime slices, if desired.

Ratings & Reviews

teafortwo's Review

June 22, 2013
The perfect way to use some of my HUGE verbena plant. This drink is very refreshing. It's great to have simple syrup on hand to make a quick batch and socialize on the porch with neighbors. I served this to my book club and it was a hit. I'm planning on serving this again tonight-tastes like summer. I have made this with vodka and lemons (because of an abundance of lemons on the tree) and its is wonderful

dgitlin612's Review

June 16, 2013
Very light and refreshing. I didn't have verbena, so used mint. Otherwise, followed the recipe. Perfect Father's Day drink on the patio. Served it in oversize martini glasses with a sprig of mint. Beautiful!

brendaprowse's Review

July 01, 2012
Yipeeee! My verbena plant made it through the winter in the Pacific Northwest. We only have a few days of summer here and serving these icy, tangy sweet drinks on a sunny day out on the deck is a great way to celebrate. I prefer vodka to gin. We keep a bottle in the freezer. I store a double batch of the simple syrup in the fridge so it's easy to mix up when guests arrive.

nnaul66's Review

May 30, 2011
This recipe is very tasty. I have a thriving crop of lemon verbena and searched out a recipe to use the bounty. I made the cocktail with lemon juice as I had no limes on hand. The drink was just the right combination of sweet and tart and the lemon verbena was able to shine through. I served it over ice in a wine glass.

MeMe924's Review

June 15, 2010
Not just for Father's Day anymore!!!!! Very refreshing.

dawn1938's Review

April 09, 2010
Since I have tasted both drinks, I find the Gimlet the best. It is easy to adjust the amount of alcohol to taste, but the overall recipe is very good. Light & refreshing

nancyclay's Review

August 23, 2009
This drink for summer has it all. It is refreshing, beautiful and festive. We used vodka since we are not gin fans. Even my husband who does not usually drink vodka gave this an A+ rating. We served it over ice in large red wine glasses

csaunders80's Review

June 23, 2009
This is a great, fresh-tasting cocktail. The only change that I made was to use vodka instead of dry gin. My husband raved about it and asked me to make it again. It's a winner!

shurlock's Review

June 22, 2009
Fantastic summer cocktail! We served it over ice because of the heat but it was a great way to cool down.