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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Cool Down With Two Refreshing Summer Cocktails

Today on Earth Eats: two cocktails that utilize fresh herbs from the garden, and a look at a fast-growing hobby among do-it-yourself’ers – home brewing.

A few weeks ago, we made three non-alcoholic summer beverages that would please kids just as much as parents, but today, adults only!

Two cocktails that utilize fresh herbs from the garden, and a look at a fast-growing hobby among do-it-yourself’ers – home brewing.

Homebrewing And History

UpCup trophy

Photo: Josephine McRobbie / WFIU

The names of previous winners of the UpCup, a homebrew competition, are engraved on a beer keg.

People of different cultures have been making their own batches of beer for over ten thousand years, starting in early Neolithic times. Josephine McRobbie went to the UpCup, a homebrewing competition at Upland Brewing Company in Bloomington to learn more.

Listen: Home Brewers Compete For Hopped Glory In Upland Brewery’s UpCup

More from Earth Eats:

Recipe: Verbena Martini

annie corrigan tasting a summer drink

Photo: Andrew Olanoff (for WFIU)

This verbena martini has a good balance. It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit acidic from the Vermouth and you taste the verbena but it’s not overpowering.

Vebena Martini


  • 2-3 nice size springs verbena (about 8-10 leaves in total)
  • 1 shot chilled vodka, store the bottle in the freezer
  • 1 shot Galliano
  • splash Vermouth
  • 2-3 drops Orange Bitters

Cooking Directions

  1. Muddle verbena in a cocktail shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.
  2. To the verbena, add vodka, Galliano, vermouth and orange bitters.
  3. Shake and serve garnished with a verbena sprig and a thin slice of lemon.

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Frozen Mint Julep

mint julep

Photo: Andrew Olanoff (for WFIU)

You think about having mint juleps around race time, but as it gets hotter in the summertime, we’re doing frozen mint juleps today.

Frozen Mint Julep


  • 1 lime
  • 2-2 1/2 cups loosely packed mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup simple syrup
  • 1/3 cup bourbon

Cooking Directions

  1. Remove the stems from the mint. Add the leaves to a blender.
  2. To the mint leaves, add to equal parts simple syrup and bourbon.
  3. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the blender. Slice off a bit of lime zest and add that to the blender as well.
  4. Fill blender halfway with ice, and blend!

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Earth Eats Staff

Earth Eats Staff is a weekly podcast, public radio program and blog bringing you the freshest news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture.

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