Floral-infused drinks are quite the thing right now. Follow the trends and make petal-powered cocktails.
Lavender is just at home in your garden as it is in cocktails and sweet teas. Use it, along with other edible flowers, to decorate or subtly flavour your beverages.
FLORAL ICE CUBES & BERRY SPRITZER
Get mixing and make your own fancy-pants drinks for special occasions, then add floral ice cubes to wow your guests. They're perfect in straight spirits or soda water, to show off the flowers, or incoporate them in cocktails. Try adding them to a homemade berry spritzer. In a blender, blitz frozen or fresh berries of your choice, with sugar syrup (1:1 ratio of sugar and water) and cup freshly squeezed lemon juice. Press mixture through a sieve and discard the solids. Pour into a jug and top with sparkling wine, soda water or lemonade. Add floral ice cubes.
Place edible flower petals (try rose or pansy petals) inside popsicle moulds. In a large jug, mix 4 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of elderflower and rose cordial (see recipe on previous page). Gently pour the liquid into the popsicle moulds. Insert popsicle sticks and put in the freezer until frozen. Makes 10, depending on mould size.
Use the flowers of English lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia) as they have the least amount of camphor compared to other lavenders.
Ingredients: • 30ml vodka • 15ml fresh lemon juice • 10ml lavender syrup (recipe below) • Lavender stems for garnish
For lavender syrup: Bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to the boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers. Let steep for 20 minutes. Strain and cool completely before using. Makes 1 cup. For martini: Mix together vodka, lemon juice and lavender syrup, and serve with a stem of lavender.
BLACKBERRY LAVENDER CHAMPAGNE
Blackberry has an affinity with lavender, but you can use any fruit liqueur you have.
Ingredients: • 30ml blackberry liqueur • 30ml pomegranate juice • 10ml lemon juice • 30ml lavender syrup • Ice • Champagne • Lavender to garnish
Method: Mix liqueur, juices, lavender syrup and ice in cocktail shaker. Pour into a glass and top with champagne.
Ingredients: • 100g sugar • teaspoon tartaric acid • 200g fresh passionfruit pulp • 50ml lemon juice • Sparkling water, edible flowers, mint leaves and lemon segments to serve
Method: Combine the sugar, tartaric acid and 50ml water in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until dissolved. Cool to room temperature then stir in the passionfruit and lemon juice.
Serve on ice in chilled glasses, topped up with sparkling water and garnished with flowers, mint and lemon.
LEMON VERBENA BOYSENBERRY CRUSH
Sarah Tuck’s fruity invention can be as alcoholic or not as you wish – just add less or more soda to suit your needs. Decorate with purple and yellow edible flowers to complement the red hue of the drink.
For the syrup (makes 1 cups):
• 1 cup frozen boysenberries • 20 lemon verbena leaves (or the peel of a lemon) • cup caster sugar • 1 cups water
Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Pass the syrup through a sieve and store in a sealed container.
For the drink • 3 parts vodka • 1 part lemon verbena boysenberry syrup • 3 parts soda • Ice • Edible flowers and lemon verbena leaves (or lemon peel) to serve
Method: Pour the vodka and syrup over ice and stir to combine. Top with soda and garnish with lemon verbena leaves (or lemon peel) and flowers, if using.