Flowers can make almost anything look better, including your home and a fitted suit. However, men and women alike who enjoy receiving bouquets may overlook its other uses for flowers. Many cultures use flowers in cooking, including our own, as either a garnish or as hors d’oeuvres. You can even improve the look of various drinks with petals, or whole flowers.
Creating a Masterpiece: Edible Flowers in Teas or Coffees
Not all teas are made from strictly plants or herbs; many teas are derived from flower petals, leaves, or berries. Eatable flowers like lavender, chamomile, linden flowers, roses, jasmine, chrysanthemums, and hibiscus make great tasting teas, and they’re easy to brew from scratch. Simply add them to an infuser ball and steep for 2-3 minutes, then add alcohol.
- Earl Grey Lavender Cocktail: 3 tablespoons lavender and earl grey tea, 4 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar, and 1.5 parts vodka. Serve cold. Garnish with flowers and lemon.
- Chamomile-Honey Hot Toddy: 1 ounce whiskey, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon honey, and ¼ cup of chamomile tea. Garnish with flowers and lemon wheels,
- Jasmin Gin Fizz: 2 ounces Jasmin Gin, 1 ounce lemon juice, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 egg white, 1 ounce club soda. Garnish with jasmine flowers and lemon wedges.
- Rose Cocktail: 2 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of grapefruit juice, 1 ounce of lemon juice, ½ ounces of rose syrup, 2 drops of Peychaud’s Bitters, a dash of cardamom. Garnish.
- Chrysanthemum Infusion Shot: 1.2 ounces of vodka, 0.3 ounces of chrysanthemum tea, a splash of sugar syrup. Put ice in the shaker and strain into a shot glass. Garnish.
Irish Coffee and Espresso White Russians are tasty staples, and they can be garnished with roses and lavender. There are plenty of flower-infused coffees on the market. Bia Coffee in downtown LA is one of the many examples of cafes that specialize in this art.
Cocktail Garnishes: Adding Flowers to Classic Drinks
Using tea or coffee as a base of alcohol may not appeal to everyone, but if you’re interested in spicing up an old favorite, the following flowers will look incredible as a garnish.
- Boozy Milkshake: Asters. Place them next to the cherries on top of the whipped creme.
- Lemon Balm Cocktail: Bee Balm. Looks great with clear cocktails in a shallow glass.
- Grapefruit Cocktail: Carnations. Stick to pink or red carnations to keep a theme.
- Blue Lagoon: Blue Cornflowers. Its clove-like flavor adds depth to this drink.
- The Cosmo: Daylilies. Only use daylilies, not other lilies, as those are toxic.
- Pink Lady: Fleabane. These white daisy-like flowers shoot up out of the drink.
- Raspberry Martini: Fruit Blossoms. Most fruit blossoms are edible.
- Old Fashioned: Hawkweed. Related to dandelions, they’re fluffy and orange.
- Orange Crush: Hostas. Use the purple variety for an exciting color clash.
- Gin and Tonic: Nasturtiums. This flower tastes peppery and a bit spicy.
- Shamrocker: Pansies. White pansies will look the best in this neon-colored drink.
- Mimosas: Queen Anne’s Lace. Have a mild carrot flavor that fits with orange juice.
- Moscow Mule: Wood Sorrel. Its clover appearance and sour taste work perfectly.
Assume that your guests will be consuming the flowers as a garnish, so don’t just add something that simply looks good. Certain combinations may throw off the drink.
Floral Ice Cubes: Infusing Blooms to Any Beverage
Flower ice cubes are easy to make and can be added to any cold drink, alcoholic or otherwise. You’ll need edible flowers, an ice tray, water, and a few hours for the water to harden.
- Fill the ice tray with water and add the flowers facing down.
- Use distilled water to eliminate air bubbles or cloudiness.
- Only use flowers that can be eaten and were grown without pesticides.
After 3-4 hours, your ice cubes will be ready to place in your beverages.