A sprig of herb, such as mint or sage, is added to a cocktail for visual appeal but most importantly for fresh aromatics.
Find a good-looking sprig of the herb you want to use with a big healthy bud that has plenty of leaves on it. If you have sad looking herbs, then maybe try and find a nice leaf or two to use instead. Nobody needs a limp and feeble sprig, flopping around the top of their drink.
Cut the stem to a length approximately 2 inches long and remove the leaves up the stem of the sprig until you get to a couple below the bud itself. Don’t waste any of the leaves here, use them in drinks or cooking. Stalks are also excellent for cooking.
Now, hold the bottom of the stem in one hand and lightly tap the bud against your other hand to release the aromas from the sprig. Don’t whack it or clap it! You just want to release the delicate aromas from the essential oils which only takes a light tap.
Finally, gently hold your sprig by the bud and push the stem down to anchor it. You need to get it right down into the drink to hold it in place. The ice will keep the leaves together in an attractive tight bud. If you don’t push it down far enough into the drink, it will be left flapping around, not a good look.
NB: Care for your herbs!
How you look after your herbs will help with the quality of your sprigs.
Make sure you rinse your herbs in cold water, trim the bottom of the stems and stand them in a glass or jar with water in the bottom, like a bouquet of flowers. Alternatively rinse, then wrap them in a wet paper towel and put them in the fridge.
Not only will these methods keep your herbs in tip-top condition, they will also revive even the most sad and wilted herbs unless they’re completely dead, in which case, make a sauce not a drink!