Flo­ral-filled bev­er­ages

Flo­ral-in­fused drinks are quite the thing right now. Fol­low the trends and make petal-pow­ered cock­tails.

NZ Gardener - 365 Days of Flowers - - Edible Flowers -

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.

ELDER­FLOWER POPSICLES

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.

LAVEN­DER MARTINI

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.

PASSIONFRUIT SODA

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.

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