As some of London’s most famous cocktail establishments mix up flowery cocktails in homage to The Chelsea Flower Show (24th to 28th May 2016), we share the simple secrets to help you mix up your very own floral fancies at home.
Canary Wharf dining favourite, Plateau, has gone all out for Flower Show celebrations with floral cocktails made from herbs grown at the restaurant and a matching tasting menu of flower-inspired dishes. Their Spring Leaf cocktail (main picture) combines Hendrick’s gin, St. Germain liqueur, lime juice, sugar syrup and mint leaves. A relatively simple drink, the use of a flowery flourish in the form of a syrup or liqueur is the easiest way to add a little petal power to your cocktail. Hendrick’s gin, with its cucumber infusion, also makes a great base to help bring out floral flavours.
Another fitting gin to use for floral-inspired drinks, BLOOM gin forms the base for the Chelsea de Janeiro cocktail created by The Botanist. BLOOM gin is blended with The King's Ginger Liqueur, kiwi, hibiscus, grapefruit bitters, pink grapefruit and pineapple syrup to create a floral and fruity mix designed to get your taste buds dancing.
Similarly, Coq D’argent’s Blossomtini again uses a gin base, Tanqueray this time, and combines it with fresh raspberries, hibiscus syrup, lemon juice and egg white. Whilst the hibiscus is a welcome addition, it is the floral garnish here that adds an instant splash of summer. Edible flowers such as nasturtiums, violets, borage, marigolds and lavender florets add colour and interest to most cocktails if you want an easy (and pretty) route. Although, you wouldn’t want to prissy up a Manhattan or Martini with anything other than a twist of citrus. A long, cool and refreshing Collins however, or even something fragrant and flirty like a Cosmo, now that’s another matter entirely.
FOUR EASY FLORAL COCKTAILS
And so on to mixing up your own. With a muddler, three piece shaker, base spirit and floral accent you can create summery concoctions that look impressive, but secretly were pretty darn simple to make.
1. CHELSEA GARDEN
A lip-smacking combination of gin, cucumber and apple juice with an elderflower accent, this is the least ‘flowery’ of the bunch, but a great introduction to floral flavours.
1 thick slice of cucumber
50ml Hendrick’s gin
50ml elderflower cordial
50ml apple juice (not fresh)
• Muddle the cucumber with the gin, elderflower cordial and apple juice in a cocktail shaker.
• Shake and double strain.
• Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a slice of cucumber threaded onto a cocktail stick, and your choice of flowers.
2. ROSE MARTINI
This variation on a vodka martini is a sweet, romantic twist on a classic.
25ml white crème de cacao
10ml rose water
1 drop rose food colouring
• Place the liquids in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake to chill.
• Strain into a martini glass and float one or more rose petals.
3. REAL FRUIT LEMON DROP
Meyer lemons are considered a fusion of lemons and oranges, so you can always substitute a 50/50 mix of lemon and orange juice for the Meyer lemon juice if easier.
• Sugar the rim of a chilled martini glass by rubbing a lemon wedge around the edge and then dipping the rim into sugar.
• Place the first three ingredients into a shaker with ice.
• Shake and then pour into the glass.
• Slowly add the sparkling wine on top so it floats.
• Garnish with a lemon slice topped with a pansy.
4. BRAZILIAN ORCHID
The Brazilian Orchid cocktail gets its name from the flower and the use of cachaça, a sugary spirit popular in the country (99% of the world’s cachaça supply is consumed in Brazil).
• Place the ingredients, other than the orchid, in a cocktail shaker with ice.
• Shake well, and then strain into a chilled glass.
• Garnish with the orchid.