Happy spring! It’s warming up around here (maybe where you are, too?), and I've been thinking about creating a cocktail that's light but still has a toe in winter. Out in the test garden there was some fragrant lemon verbena, and back in the test kitchen we had some aromatic Ventura Limoncello Company limoncello, which is made from southern California lemons. They came together in these spring hot toddies.

Lemon verbena in the test garden 

Spring hot toddies

Fresh lemon verbena leaves


1. Fill a saucepan half full with lemon verbena leaves, then add water so the pan is three-quarters full. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then turn off the heat and let the leaves steep about 10 minutes. Strain.

2. Ladle the lemon verbena tea into heatproof glasses or mugs and add a good splash of limoncello.


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