Asides from decorating our gardens and homes, our botanical friends are being embraced by mixologists around the globe. From adding natural flavour to colour or embellishment, flowers and plants are proving a great addition to cocktails, especially when in full bloom.
What’s more, many of them are edible too. Read on to discover our tops picks for cocktails inspired by botanicals…
1. Rosemary Gin Fizz
One for the gin lover! This rosemary-inspired cocktail boasts a unique flavour and a sophisticated appearance, making it a great option for parties and events. To make it, you’ll need to invest in your favourite gin (dry is recommended), rosemary syrup, lemon, an egg white and a few rosemary sprigs.
• 20 ml Rosemary Syrup
• 60 ml Dry Gin
• 20 ml Egg White
• 15 ml Lemon
Begin by dry shaking all of the ingredients with the egg white. Add ice and shake again. Select a chilled fizz glass and double strain the mixture into the vessel, topping with a dash of soda water to add even more fizz. Embellish with a handful of rosemary sprigs and serve.
2. Lavender Martini
Looking to add a pop of purple to your next event? A lavender Martini promises a showstopper of a cocktail and is a twist on the traditional martini drink. To create, you’ll need gin (any brand), crème de violette, St. Germain liqueur, ginger liqueur and lavender bitters.
• 60 ml Gin
• 30 ml crème de violette
• 7.5 ml ginger liqueur
• A splash of lavender bitters
• 7 ml St. Germain liqueur
Using a cocktail shaker, combine all the ingredients with plenty of ice and shake. For best results, you will need to shake well for a minimum of 30 seconds. Once the mixture has been combined, pour the contents into a Martini glass that has been chilled. To add the ‘wow’ factor, garnish with lavender sprigs before serving to guests.
3. Spiked Hibiscus Iced Tea
This is a great option for the summer months and a must-try cocktail at garden parties and BBQs. Asides from being extremely refreshing, this tea-based cocktail, with its hot ruby hues, is visually appealing. To make it, you’ll need organic hibiscus loose-leaf tea (you can use standard teabags too), blueberry-infused vodka, lemon syrup, boiling water and some ice cubes. To create the lemon syrup, you’ll require water, lemons, unrefined sugar and lemon zest. Garnish this masterpiece of a drink with mint sprigs, edible blooms and lemon wedges.
• Quarter cup Hibiscus Tea (or 8 standard tea bags)
• 8 cups of boiling water
• Half a cup of lemon syrup (combine one cup unrefined sugar with half a cup of water, three to four lemons and one tablespoon of lemon zest)
• One cup of ice cubes
Taking the lemon, create the juice and the zest. Combine the juice only with sugar and water in a pan, bringing to a light boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest. Once combined, stand for ten minutes and allow to cool. When cooled, use a sieve to remove the zest from the mixture. Boil the tea and steep for just under ten minutes, then add half a cup of the syrup to the mixture. Allow cooling before adding the vodka and ice. Before serving, add sugar to the rim of the glass and garnish with edible flowers and lemon wedges.
4. Honeysuckle Vodka Lemonade
This cocktail can be created using the honeysuckle bushes in your garden, is a great option for the spring and summer season, and makes for a perfect conversation starter.
• 2 cups of honeysuckle and jasmine blossoms
• 750 ml vodka
For the lemonade:
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• Juice of two lemons
• 2 cups of water (filtered)
To create the honeysuckle-infused vodka, remove the blooms from their stems, discarding any greenery such as leaves. Add the flowers to a glass of cold water, swishing them around before laying them on a kitchen towel to dry. Place the blooms in a mason jar with a wide mouth, then add the vodka ensuring the blossoms are entirely covered with the liquid. Cap tightly and place in a dark, cool place for a minimum of 24 hours, stirring the liquid every now and then. Next, using a sieve, strain the vodka through a cheesecloth. This mixture can be stored in a jar and used at a later date. To make the lemonade, add sugar and fresh lemon juice to the water, adjusting the sweetness to your liking. To create the cocktail, add ice to a glass alongside a shot of honeysuckle vodka and lemonade, garnishing with a sprig of honeysuckle.
5. Floral Rosé Punch
A great party pleaser and a refreshing cocktail perfect for a summer soirée. This elegant, bubbly punch boasts citrus, basil and hints of pink lemonade.
• 2.5 litres of sparkling water
• 560 ml dry Prosecco
• 750 ml rosé wine
• 2/3 cup of pink lemonade syrup
• 1 fresh lemon, sliced
• 1 fresh lime, squeezed
• 1 pink grapefruit, quartered
• 25 grams of edible flowers
• 10 basil leaves
Simply combine the sparkling water, Prosecco, rosé wine, and pink lemonade syrup in a large bowl. Garnish with slices of fresh lemon, lime and pink grapefruit, alongside basil and edible flowers.
Like the look of any of the above? Why not get creative at home using blooms from the garden or those ordered from online florists. Cocktails inspired by botanicals are a sure-fire way to impress at your next dinner party, soirée, wedding or corporate event!