Petal Posturing: How To Use Flowers In Your Cocktails
Edible flowers have historically been part of various cuisines around the world. Using flowers in cocktails, then, is a natural progression of this. Flowers like rose, lavender, hibiscus, chamomile, etc. not only enhance the taste of any drink you add them to with their subtle notes, they also often beautify the drink and even add a pleasant fragrance. This is without mentioning how nice flowers look as garnish. With the number of ways in which flowers enhance a cocktail, it is surprising how little attention they get as an ingredient. This article is intended as the first step to changing this.
What Flowers Can You Put In Your Drink?
The obvious question that comes to one's mind is about the kinds of flowers to use. Obviously, you need to make sure the flower is edible. The most popular edible flowers are rose, jasmine, hibiscus, marigold, bougainvillea, lavender, etc. Do note, if you are doubtful about a flower’s edibleness, pick a different flower instead of taking a risk. Be careful about where the flower comes from, and that it is pesticide free, and does not have any plant diseases or pests.
Using Flowers In A Cocktail
Roughly speaking, you can either use flowers as garnish or as a proper ingredient in your cocktail. For garnish, usually just topping a cocktail with flower petals while keeping in mind aesthetic colour combinations works best. You can always play around with themes as well, say garnishing a couples’ cocktail with a rose, or a forest-based cocktail with a variety of petals.
Things get more interesting (and complicated) when you want to use flowers as an ingredient. One of the best ways to do so is by infusing the flowers with water or sugar syrup, which you can then directly add to your mocktails and cocktails.
Paying Heed To The Spirits
It is also essential to keep in mind the basic flavours of a spirit so that you can pair it with the right floral flavours and get the best out of the combination. For instance, vodka, due to its tastelessness, pairs well with all florals and their iterations. In fact, you can make a bouquet of a cocktail by mixing together the various flower syrups you have and adding some vodka to it.
Gin, with its strong, tangy aftertaste, pairs really well with classic floral flavours like that of rose water and hibiscus water, especially when topped with some honey. Additionally, a really fun idea is to add a little floral syrup on top of your tequila shots for an intense burst of flavour.
If you prefer whisky, you may want to taste the notes of the spirit itself properly. In such a case, water infused with a low ratio of flower petals may be the perfect mixer to enhance the taste of your drink while keeping it true to the original.
Guidelines And Cautions
Since they are a natural ingredient, it is essential to be aware of your guests’ possible allergies before making them a floral drink. Moreover, all flowers should be sourced organically from places you trust, otherwise there is a risk of pesticide laced flowers. The syrups and water should be refrigerated and used up within a month, since it may lose its potency. Lastly, one must drink responsibly. Most of the flower solutions can just as easily be added to non-alcoholic beverages, or be consumed as is, while still enjoying them to their fullest.