Some flowers, like orchids and tulips, captivate the senses with their delicate forms and vivid colors. Others, like jasmine and violet, produce aromas that are good enough to eat or drink. So it’s no wonder why bartenders have long been enchanted by all types of flora. Since ancient times, rose and orange blossom essences have perfumed drinks in the Middle East and India. And for hundreds of years, Italians have savored rosolio—a liqueur infused with rose petals. There are also plenty of flowery classic cocktails, like the Aviation scented with violet liqueur and the Ramos Gin Fizz that calls for a kiss of orange flower water.
Modern-day mixologists infuse vodka with dried lavender or hibiscus, and there is also a range of floral spirits on the market. Gran Centenario Rosangel Tequila ($37) tastes of hibiscus, Hendrick’s Gin ($30) includes essence of rose petal in its botanical mix and G’Vine Floraison Gin ($29) boasts of being the first alcohol flavored with grapevine flowers. But when it comes to spirits with flower power, the crown goes to St-Germain ($35), which has made the lychee-citrus flavor of the tiny French elderflower blossoms a sensation. The brand’s creator, Rob Cooper, also just released his eagerly awaited revival of the classic violet liqueur Crème Yvette ($45), which will no doubt be popular as well.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, here are a few cocktails that let mom have her flowers—and drink them, too.
Lavender Honey Cream
Contributed by: H. Joseph Ehrmann
- 1.5 oz Square One Botanical
- 1 oz Organic heavy cream
- 1 oz Organic egg white
- 1 oz Lavender honey syrup*
- Garnish: Lavender blossoms
- Glass: Cocktail
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake gently for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a few lavender blossoms.
* To make lavender syrup, combine .25 cup lavender honey with .25 cup boiling water. Stir gently until honey is dissolved. Let cool and store in a squeeze bottle.
Contributed by: Duggan McDonnell
- 1 oz Gran Centenario Rosangel Tequila
- 1 oz La Pinta Pomegranate Tequila
- 1 oz Fresh lime juice
- 2 oz Ginger ale
- Garnish: Orange slice
- Glass: Highball
Contributed by: Frankie Thaheld
- Half a ripe kiwi, peeled
- .5 oz St-Germain
- .75 oz Simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water)
- Splash club soda
- 3-4 oz Brut sparkling wine
- Garnish: Kiwi slice
- Glass: Cocktail
Muddle the kiwi in a shaker. Add the simple syrup, St-Germain and ice. Shake until chilled and add a splash of club soda. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and top with sparkling wine. Garnish the drink with a kiwi slice.
Maria C. Hunt is hostess of the champagne appreciation and entertaining web site The Bubbly Girl and author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion, which includes an entire chapter of floral cocktails.