Borage flowers are handy in the kitchen because they are such an eye-catching garnish. They were thought by old herbalists ‘to drive away sorrow and comfort the heart’ and they are indeed very cheery. They look gorgeous in drinks, salads, and even on cakes. Think borage lemonade, borage ice cubes, strawberry-borage cocktails, preserves and borage-jelly. Our great, great grandmothers would have preserved and candied them.
Young borage leaves have a mild, cooling, cucumber flavour and were a standard ingredient in cool tankards of wine and cider. In summer drinks, such as fruit juices, they add a refreshingly cool note. Whole sprigs can be steeped in lemon drinks, white or red wine, cider, punches and claret cups.