Cocktails are all about fusion: mixing sweet and sour, spirits and syrups, style and substance. Even the cocktail parties at which they are served are known as “mixers.”
So why not throw some flowers into the mix?
Many cocktail recipes have long included flowers, either through floral liqueurs and infusions (such as St. Germain elderflower liqueur or rose syrup) or by garnishing with flowers you can eat. That’s right: many flowers, from roses to orchids, can be eaten, and tend to have a lightly sweet flavor to complement their gentle beauty.
Whether or not you actually eat the flowers, including them at your next cocktail party can transform a simple martini into a tasteful art display. For inspiration, here are 10 floral cocktails you can make to impress your guests—or simply satisfy your inner mixologist.
Rose Martini – Australian Jacinta Moore came up with this pretty rose martini recipe, featured on Design Sponge.
- 1 1/2 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. white crème de cacao
- 1/4 oz. rose water
- 1 drop rose food color
- Rose petals
Place the liquids in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake to chill. Pour into a martini glass and float one or more rose petals.
Blood Orange Bee’s Knees – With citrus, honey, and flowers, this colorful cocktail very well could make a bee’s happy hour. The recipe is hosted on The Hostess Diary, where it was paired with a nasturtium; we tried it with an exotic orchid.
- 2 oz. gin
- 1 oz. blood orange juice
- 1/2 oz. lemon juice 1/2 oz. honey syrup (which is equal parts honey and warm water)
- 2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
Place all of the ingredients, other than the flower, into a shaker with ice. After shaking, strain the mixture into a chilled glass and garnish with the flower.
Delft Blue – This delicious concoction made using Dutch gin (genever) is named after the city in Holland famous for its blue and white pottery. The recipe comes from DIY Cocktails.
- 2 oz. genever
- 1 oz. crème de violette
- /1/2 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
Pour the liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for about 15 seconds, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with one or more violets.
Shire Flower – Named after the humble homeland of the hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic books (and current series of movies), the editors at Drink of the Week suggest using “small, white flowers” as a garnish. We specifically used friendly daisies.
- 3 oz. Purity Vodka
- 3/8 oz. elderflower liqueur
- 3/8 oz. lemon juice
- 1 bar spoon apricot preserves
Add all ingredients, other than the flowers, into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until ice cold, and double strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with the daisies.
Lavender Martini – Here, soothing lavender is used to make a drink that is as beautiful as it is relaxing. Recipe by The Framed Table.
- 1 oz. crème de violette
- 1 oz. gin
- 1 oz. vodka
- 1/4 oz. Domaine de Canton
- 1/4 oz. St. Germaine elderflower liqueur
- 1 dash Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters
Place all liquids into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well for 30 seconds and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with lavender sprigs.
Lady Rose – Would a rose by any other name taste as sweet? The Cocktail Lovers of London think so, especially when mixed with strawberries and sugary syrups. We’ve translated their metric measurements into American ounces.
- 1/3 oz. rose syrup
- 1/3 oz. pomegranate syrup
- 1 1/3 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. cranberry juice
- 3 fresh strawberries
- Red rose
Muddle strawberries and liquids in a shaker tin. Fill shaker with ice cubes, and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a rose.
Real Fruit Lemon Drop – The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart, published this mixed drink recipe. Meyer lemons are themselves considered a fusion of lemons and oranges, so you can substitute a 50/50 mix of lemon and orange juice for the Meyer lemon juice in the recipe.
- 1 1/2 oz. Hangar One Mandarin Blossom Vodka
- 1/2 oz. Cointreau
- 1/2 oz. Meyer lemon juice
- Splash of sparkling wine
- 1 thin lemon sliceSugar (for rim)
Sugar the rim of a chilled martini glass by rubbing a lemon wedge around the edge and then dipping the rim into sugar. Place the first three ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and then pour into the glass. Slowly pour the sparkling wine on top so it floats. Garnish with a lemon slice topped with a pansy.
Brazilian Orchid – The Brazilian Orchid cocktail gets its name from the flower and the use of cachaça, a sugary spirit popular in the country (99% of the world’s cachaça supply is consumed in Brazil). The recipe from SpiritDrinks.com uses Leblon Cachaça, named after an affluent section of Rio de Janeiro.
- 2 oz. Leblon Cachaça
- 1 splash raspberry liqueur
- 2 oz. pureed lychee
Place the ingredients, other than the orchid, in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, and then strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with the flower.
Ofrenda Cocktail – This Mexican cocktail comes from Christopher Bostick of Los Angeles, via iFood.tv. He used a marigold, which along with ofrendas are used in Mexico to honor deceased loved ones. We cheered it up with an equally edible mum blossom instead.
- 2 oz. Espolón Tequila Reposado
- 1 oz. lime juice
- 3/4 oz. orange Curaçao or Triple Sec
- 5oz. Light agave nectar
- 5 cups chopped cantaloupe
- 1/8 tsp. Chile de árbol powder
Muddle cantaloupe, agave nectar, and Curaçao or Triple Sec in a shaker. Add ice and remaining ingredients, excluding garnish, and shake for at least 10 seconds. Double strain into a chilled glass, and garnish with the flower.
Black Currant Sparkler – We saved dessert for last. This dessert cocktail is made from a recipe at Cocktail Buzz, and is credited to Christy Pope.
- 1/2 oz. Campari
- 1/2 oz. gin
- 1 tbs. black currant preserves
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. white crème de cacao
Place the ingredients, except the Prosecco and pansy, into a mixing glass with ice. Stir and then strain the mixture into a glass, and top with Prosecco. Garnish with the pansy.
Don’t drink alone; floral cocktails are meant to be shared with others. Feel free to pin these recipes for your friends, or throw a mixing party to create your own concoctions.