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The herb of 2024 and a delicious cocktail recipe to use it in

The Herb of 2024 and a delicious cocktail recipe to use it in

Unless, of course, you’ve been living under a ROCK – you’ll know that The International Herb Association has picked its 'Herb of the Year', and the winner, despite much controversy, debate and allegations of PES (performance enhancing soils) – is the flowery rockstar, Yarrow.

Yarrow’s incredibly common, and has such a long history of medicinal use that it has a number of common names – depending on where in the world you’re finding it. There are nearly 1000 different names, and potentially many subspecies. And whilst ‘stenchgrass’ is amusing, it’s not so appetising, so we’ll stick with yarrow for now.

Yarrow the wonder herb

The Latin for yarrow is ‘achillea’, from the Greek character Achilles – whose soldiers used yarrow to treat their wounds. And in fact, that part isn’t myth, it was used as recently as the American Civil War to staunch bleeding. But what matters most, is what you can use it for day to day. And whilst that could be anything from pastas to buttermilk buns, we always find it hard to turn down our herbs in beverage form.

Which is why we spoke to Rachel Lambert, Forager, Walk Leader, Award-Winning Author, Recipe Creator – and much more, to get her recipe for a ‘Yarrow and Honey Mule’. Starting off with the Yarrow Flower syrup recipe, an integral part of the drink, you can use this syrup recipe to experiment with, whether that’s making other cocktails, or sweetening and flavouring other treats like milkshakes and drizzling over ice cream! Over to Rachel for the steps!


Yarrow flower syrup

(Makes 550ml/193 4fl oz | Vegan and gluten-free)

From the moment the flowers are steeped in hot water, I fall in love with the scent of this syrup. It smells almost like menthol – or is it liquorice? I can’t quite make up my mind.


  • 30g/1oz yarrow flowers, chopped

  • 450ml/151 4fl oz boiling water

  • 300g/10oz light brown sugar


  1. Place the chopped flowers in a heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Cover and leave overnight or for 24 hours.

  2. Strain the liquid through a sieve into a saucepan, add the sugar and gently heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes before leaving to cool, then decant into sterilised bottles. Keeps for up to 3 months in the fridge.

And now – the moment you’ve been waiting for – the cocktail recipe!


Yarrow and honey mule

(Serves 4 | Gluten-free and dairy-free)

The smell of honey-scented yarrow flowers one hot summer day inspired this medicinal take on a mule cocktail. Not only does it taste good, but it helps soothe coughs and colds. Adding fresh yarrow leaves and ginger will give the cocktail an extra ‘zing’, but it is still pretty punchy without them. My friend Antonia and I enjoyed these one evening in her allotment – it felt appropriate surrounded by herbs and flowers – and they made the cycle home quite interesting, too!


  • 4 tbsp yarrow leaves, taken off the stem and chopped (optional)

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (optional)

  • 125ml/41 4fl oz vodka, plus 1 tsp

  • 100ml/31/2fl oz Yarrow Flower Syrup (p.120)

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 400ml/131/2fl oz sparkling water

  • To serve ice cubes lemon slices


  1. In a pestle and mortar, mash together the yarrow leaves, if using, lemon juice, grated ginger, if using, and 1 teaspoon of vodka.

  2. Pour the yarrow flower syrup and remaining vodka into a jug, add the honey and stir until dissolved. Add the mashed yarrow- leaf blend, if using, and the sparkling water, then pour into glasses garnished with ice and lemon slices.

Taken from Wild & Sweet by Rachel Lambert and published by Hoxton Mini Press.

Yarrow and Honey Mule

Safety note

Yarrow, whilst absolutely amazing, does have a few lookalike plants, some harmless like Chamomile, pineapple weed or tansy. But, it also looks like hogweed, and a lot like hemlock – both poisonous, the latter, potentially deadly. So, if you are going to forage, do your research, or go out with an experienced forager!

If you’re curious about making more wild recipes, or how to get out foraging in nature, check out Rachel’s Instagram, buy her book or just head straight to her website for more!