We’re used to seeing flowers on the cocktail tables at wedding receptions, but what about in the cocktails themselves?
Sure, it’s de rigueur to pop a sprig of rosemary or lavender into your signature drink, but these days, brides are getting even craftier about their craft cocktails. Floral alcohol is showing up on bar menus and providing a perfumed base to all kinds of concoctions, and it’s a pairing that makes sense. Flowers and herbs can add a glorious top note to a drink, infusing it with a bright, botanical character.
There are a few different ways to pollinate your drink. Flowers can be boiled down and reduced to a simple syrup, of course. A subtle, blendable botanic like lavender is a popular choice (and works well with honey) to add to whiskey or rum. For a more opened-up flavor, fresh petals can be muddled right into the mix, starting at the shaker. We see mixologists muddling a floral foundation first, and then pouring in the rest of the ingredients. For a signature look, blooms are left in a layer at the bottom of the individual glass. And while floral-infused spirits have been mainstays behind the bar for a long time, today they’re coming out from behind it. Everything from hibiscus to poppy is infusing our liquors, with more and more intriguing combinations coming to the fore (peony vodka, anyone?). Crème de violette, an essential part of the gorgeous purple Aviation cocktail, is a great example of a flower-packed liqueur that is finding its way into innovative new drinks.
It’s not just the alcohol itself that is benefiting by flowers. This is a whole-drink trend. Look for floral ice cubes and ice sticks, which can function as stirrers, too. And while we may have always had the floral garnish, you’ve never seen them quite like this. Today, drinks are getting topped with mini-bouquets that seem less like a cheerful afterthought and more a full on composition. If you’re not a liquor lover, not to worry. Floral wines are ready to pair with spring weddings, lending their sweet, light notes to bride’s brunches and welcome toasts. We’re even seeing wine infused with flowers and herbs right in the glass. There’s nothing quite like a glass of white wine spinning with chamomile flowers, or a fizzy flute of Prosecco with a red hibiscus flaring up from the bottom.
2 oz gin
1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz crème de violette
An edible violet
In a cocktail shaker, combine the ingredients along with ice. Shake vigorously for ten seconds, then strain into a chilled glass. Top with the violet.