Better-for-you cocktails

Many health-conscious Lowcountry residents enjoy cocktails that combine their favorite spirits with herbs, fruit, botanicals and produce that have beneficial properties. Toast to your health with these concoctions with local connections.

Find your passion

Passionflower grows wild on the beach on Hilton Head and is known to ease anxiety, quiet the mind and promote restful sleep. This recipe from the team at Hilton Head Distillery features the medicinal vine, along with several other healthy ingredients. Kombucha aids in digestion and decreases inflammation. Blueberries and ginger are great for their superfood/digestive properties. Mint also aids in digestion and improves brain function. It is safe to say this cocktail is full of self-care, even if the main ingredient is tasty platinum rum.

Hilton Head Distillery – Passionflower Kombucha Rum


1 1/2 ounces Hilton Head Distillery Platinum Rum

3 ounces GT’s Gingerberry Kombucha

Handful of mint leaves

1 lime, sliced

1 dropper of passionflower bitters or 1 tablespoon of elderberry syrup*

Directions Muddle the lime and mint in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, rum, and either passionflower extract or elderberry syrup and shake. Strain rum into glass and top with GT’s Gingerberry Kombucha. Garnish with mint and lime wedge.

* While passionflower is not available locally in bitters form, you can purchase dried passionflower from The Herb Room on Hilton Head Island and make your own. Out of the Weeds in Charleston makes a great passionflower syrup. You can also substitute the passionflower bitters with 1 tablespoon of elderberry syrup, which is great for immune support. Many people use it to prevent the flu.

Gin is in

Locals should be proud of the small batch, hand-crafted gin that is being produced by Tony Bagnulo at Bulrush Gin. It is made with 13 different botanicals, using a unique process of both maceration and vapor infusion. This gimlet recipe really showcases its hints of juniper, citrus and lavender.

Bulrush Gin – Bulrush Rosemary Gimlet


1 1/4 ounces Bulrush Gin

3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

3/4 ounce rosemary simple syrup

Directions Add all ingredients to a shaker, with ice. Shake and strain into martini glass or coupe. Garnish with sprig of rosemary.

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