Sweet basil has the fullest, sweetest, most complex earthy flavor, and lemon basil has strong lemon undertones. Use it in drinks that normally feature mint (a basil julep can be a pleasant surprise), but also try it in tequila- and rum-based drinks, like margaritas, daiquiris, planter’s punch, fruity martinis, and gin or vodka gimlets.
Grow it: Aim to have about three pots of basil, since you’ll use a lot. Buy a packet of seeds and plant eight each in three 4-inch pots. Put your pots on a sunny windowsill or outside where they’ll get lots of sun.
More: 17 Basil Varieties
Photo: (cc) Rachel Strohm/Flickr