Balm & tonic

Rosemary adds a twist to this non-alcoholic version of the classic cocktail.

Juniper berries and crushed rosemary create the woodsy florals of gin without the alcohol. A pinch of pink sea salt adds electrolytes, and lemon balm has been shown to increase levels of a calming neurotransmitter called GABA, says Laura Rege, a New York City-based recipe developer.

Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour cooling time
Cook time: 6 minutes

Photography by Armando Rafael. Food and prop styling by Ali Nardi.


4 teaspoons juniper berries, crushed
3 tablespoons sugar in the raw or Stevia (optional)
2 strips lemon peel, about 3-inches long each
1 4-inch sprig rosemary, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon coriander seed, lightly crushed
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch pink sea salt
½ teaspoon lemon balm tincture (such as Botanic Choice Lemon Balm Liquid Extract)
Tonic water
4 lime wedges
4 rosemary sprigs



Set a fine mesh sieve over a 2-cup measuring cup. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water, juniper berries, sugar or Stevia (if using), lemon peel, rosemary, coriander seed, cinnamon and salt to a boil. Boil 6 minutes, until reduced to 1½ cups. Strain the mixture and discard the solids.

Transfer the juniper mixture into the refrigerator. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.
Fill 4 highball glasses with ice. Stir lemon balm tincture into the juniper mixture. Add ¼ cup of the drink to each glass. Top with tonic water and stir. Garnish with a lime wedge and rosemary sprig.