April 27, 2017

Taste the Garden With Floral Cocktails

The colors and tastes of flowers unlock fresh possibilities for cocktails.

Spring brings endless opportunities for a Colorado culinary arts students to explore fresh ingredients in their cooking. Incorporating intriguing herbs and exciting fruit flavors can result in amazing dishes. However, the spring is also a great time to step up the look and the taste of your cocktails.

With floral cocktails, the bright colors of the season find their way into delicious beverages. These drinks will make an ideal pairing with the food you’re creating this spring. Try out a few recipes and then experiment with crafting your own.

1. Aviation

“Embrace the spring while enjoying a classic drink.”

If you want to embrace the spring while enjoying a classic drink, the Aviation makes a great choice. The version presented by Honestly Yum places extra emphasis on the floral tastes of the cocktail by garnishing with an edible violet.

Before you throw in the flower, combine gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and ice in a shaker. For an authentic Aviation, creme de violette is another essential element, a liqueur with both the flavor and color of its namesake flower. Shake the ingredients for 10 seconds before straining into a chilled glass.

2. Floral Old-Fashioned

The Old-Fashioned is a staple of cocktail bars, but Saveur suggested a floral variation that may appeal even to those who aren’t fans of the traditional drink. First, prepare a chamomile syrup by placing dried flowers in a saucepan with sugar and water over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and then strain out the liquid.

Pour the syrup into a shaker along with a single-malt Scotch, Angostura bitters and ice. Stir and strain into a rocks glass. Serve over ice with a garnish of edible flowers and a lemon twist.

3. Rose margarita

A margarita is a warm weather favorite, and you can give it an elegant spin with the natural beauty of flowers. Paste provided directions that call for agave blanco tequila, rose syrup, orange liqueur and three rose petals. Combine the ingredients over ice and shake. Serve in a rocks glass rimmed with hibiscus and rose salt.

4. Lilac 75

The French 75 is another drink beloved by cocktail connoisseurs that takes on a new dimension with a flowery addition. Eat Boutique’s take involves making a syrup with lilac flowers, water, sugar and crushed blueberries. Combine the syrup with gin, lemon juice and ice, and shake.

Strain into a chilled coupe glass and top off with a few ounces of Champagne. Garnish with lilacs to serve.

Flowers put an intriguing spin on classic cocktails.Flowers put an intriguing spin on classic cocktails.

5. Raspberry and scented geranium sour

If you’re ready to try something more complex, Toast Magazine offered a recipe for a tasty, pink cocktail from author Lottie Muir. This drink involves a simple syrup made with lemon verbena leaves and raspberries. However, getting the other ingredients ready will require advance planning.

Prepare a raspberry and scented geranium shrub by placing the leaves in a bowl with raspberries and sugar, covered by a towel. When the sugar turns red and you see a raspberry liquid, strain it into a measuring cup. Add apple cider vinegar and stir. Place in a bottle, seal and allow several days for the shrub to mellow.

Meanwhile, set rose-scented geranium leaves in a jar and cover them with vodka. Seal the jar and turn it over a few times before leaving in a dark, cool place for a day. Test the flavor, and if the vodka has not been infused, allow another day or two before straining into a bottle.

Combine the infused vodka, the syrup, the shrub, gold rum, lemon juice, an egg white and Angostura bitters. Shake for 20 seconds before adding ice and repeating. Strain the drink into a chilled glass, garnishing with edible flowers and scented geranium.

Culinary academy students can take advantage of the changing seasons in many ways. Consider how floral cocktails might add beauty and excitement to the meals you prepare this spring.