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How to grow your own cocktail ingredients window box

PUBLISHED: 12:22 24 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:22 24 July 2015

Make an exotic Pimms with homegrown strawberries and kumquats

Make an exotic Pimms with homegrown strawberries and kumquats

Archant

West Hampstead’s Balcony Gardener offers her tips for growing a stylish and practical window box full of cocktail ingredients, perfect for summer entertaining and shares her two favourite summer cocktail recipes.

Cocktail window boxCocktail window box

A wonderful benefit of having your own balcony or terrace is being able to use it for entertaining. If you really want to make an impression with your guests, consider the lighting, accessories and finishing touches as these will make such a difference.

I like to incorporate not only things that will look good and create a beautiful aesthetic space but also to grow produce that can enhance your enjoyment of the al fresco lifestyle. You don’t need acres, just a little thought and creativity.

Lighting is key for evening parties. Fairy lights, candles (used safely) and lanterns will make your space look magical. Colourful paper lanterns will also add colour and texture.

One of my favourite window boxes for the summer months is the cocktail-themed window box, which makes a wonderful addition to your space with its abundant foliage and will also spice up your summer tipple.

A fresh, modern zinc window box will look very colourful planted with the strawberries and kumquats. Strawberries will often grow downwards so make sure that there is plenty of room underneath the box.

Kumquats are the most frost-hardy of all the citrus fruits, but still need full or partial sun. Feed with plant feed every couple of weeks, but be careful not to overwater as it will cause the fruits to be diseased and shade from wind.

Pick mint regularly or it will overtake the window box.

Pimms

Ingredients:

250 ml Pimms

1 litre lemonade

3 kumquats, sliced in half

3 strawberries, sliced

Half cucumber, chopped

Handful of fresh mint leaves

Method:

Mix all ingredients together in a large pitcher and serve over ice

Kumquat ginger caipirinha

Ingredients:

5 kumquats, sliced

1 tsp fresh ginger

1-2 tsp of brown sugar

Shot of Cachaça

Crushed ice

Slice of kumquat and sprig of mint, to garnish

Method:

Place the kumquats, ginger and sugar into a glass and muddle well. Fill with the ice and pour the Cachaça over the top. Stir well and serve with garnish.

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