Looking for the best way to transform your cocktails’ flavor profile and the overall appearance of your drink? Edible flowers for cocktails are a sure way to do it!
Edible flowers are a great way to include different flavors into your drink while providing a beautiful and unique cocktail garnish to add color, style, and flair to your signature beverage.
Not everyone knows flowers are edible; however, eating edible flowers goes all the way back to the Roman Era, and research shows both the leaves and petals of flowers have also been used in Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures for centuries.
- The History of Edible Flowers
- Best Edible Flowers for Cocktails
- Rose Petals & Buds for Cocktails
- Hibiscus Flowers for Drinks
- Popular Wild Plant and Edible Flower-Based Cocktails
- Edible Flowers Buying Guide
- What Dishes to Serve with Your Floral Cocktails
The History of Edible Flowers
Edible flowers have been used in kitchens and restaurants for many years, especially in salads, desserts, and garnishes. But in recent years, the use of edible flowers in the cocktail world has been a recent but (literally) beautiful addition.
It is human nature to be attracted to scent and beauty, making flowers the perfect accompaniment to garnish cocktails, food, and desserts to transform the dish or drink’s flavor, look, and scent.
Several different flowers and petals, including honeysuckle flowers, roses, hibiscus, jasmine, rosemary, lavender, and other delicate herbs, are all popular additions to both sweet and savory food, cocktails, and as cocktail garnishes.
Any cocktail can be improved with beautiful edible flowers and blossoms – whether the flower is used as a main ingredient to enhance the taste or simply for cocktail garnishes – even a small piece of a flower can completely transform the glass in front of you.
It’s important to remember that not all flowers are edible; some poisonous flowers can cause harm when eaten. If you’re experimenting with edible flowers for cocktails, ensure you do your research first and that the fresh flowers or fresh herbs you have chosen are not poisonous and are safely consumed when mixed into different drinks.
Best Edible Flowers for Cocktails
The best cocktails occur when the flavor profile complements or contrasts one another – something sweet needs something sour to create the perfect balance, for example. When creating cocktails with the delicious nectar of plants, flowers, and herbs – the balance in your drinks is essential.
If you’re thinking about adding a flower or edible garnish to your next cocktail, plan your drinks – you don’t want your guests to end up with a super strong floral scent in their nose – unless that’s what you’re going for, of course.
Our flavor profile guide will help you to create the perfect edible flower drinks, whether you’re hoping to find the perfect garnish, stuck on how to include roses (valentines is coming up), or hoping to create the (plant-based) drink of your dreams – we’ve got you.
Lavender is a great garnish and flavor that will add personality and taste to any glass – but it’s best complemented with berries, herbs, and something sweet like sugar syrup or honey.
Hibiscus is native to India and Malaysia but is most prevalent in China, Africa, and Mexico. To create a refreshing Mexican-style drink, use rum and lemon juice to compliment the floral flavor of hibiscus.
Honeysuckle is sweet and, therefore, a beautiful addition to a traditional daiquiri – the sour of the lime and rum is counterbalanced by the sweetness of the flower, creating a much more palatable drink.
This edible flower adds a subtle pop of color and a big burst of floral flavor to any drink; most commonly associated with tea and rice, jasmine makes a much better compliment to a cocktail.
Best enjoyed with gin, there is so much more to rosemary than adding it to your favorite savory dishes – to make the most out of the aromatic herb, briefly hold it over a flame before adding it to your drink to intensify the flavor.
Everyone’s favorite – the classic mojito. This slightly sweet and slightly sour cocktail uses mint, rum, lime, and ice cubes and is a worldwide favorite. With a strong wintergreen scent and cool refreshing taste – it’s no wonder mojitos are one of the most popular cocktails in the world.
Rose Petals & Buds for Cocktails
Some of the most popular edible flowers are rose petals and rose buds. For centuries, rose water has been used in a number of dishes and drinks; however, it isn’t recently we have been using the petals and plants to directly add flavor and color to cocktails.
There are few better flavor combinations than the fresh edible flowers from the rose bush, with the crisp, refreshing taste of good vodka, gin, or rum. Rather than searching for an entirely new recipe, simply add rose petals to your favorite cocktail for a simple but special addition to your drink.
Hibiscus Flowers for Drinks
The sweet flavor of hibiscus compliments a variety of different drinks, dishes, and teas, but it really comes to life with alcohol. The flower provides a tart and refreshing flavor, as well as brilliantly bright colors. When added to the syrup, honey, or agave, the flower provides its own sweetness – the perfect addition to a sweetened cocktail.
Popular Wild Plant and Edible Flower-Based Cocktails
A bloody mary is a classic choice for a hangover cure – but don’t only save the delicious cocktail when you’re hungover. You can drink the delicious cocktail at any time.
But how do you make it, and how can adding floral notes improve the drink? Everyone adds a savory element like celery and chili to the traditional cocktail – but what if you replaced it with the stronger flavored flowers of the chive, garlic, or leek plants?
Edible Flowers Buying Guide
It’s easy to find edible blossoms and flowers online, but that doesn’t mean you can trust every site. Plenty of places supply flowers and petals, but when you’re buying online, it’s paramount that you always opt for food-grade materials.
But what’s the difference between the products you find online?
Many flowers can be eaten whole, while for others, it’s better to enjoy only the petals or the leaves – if you’re looking for a whole-leaf flower, it’s best to choose:
For most people, organic is best, but it’s not always the most affordable – if you’re looking for a cheap, organic, edible flower – they are best from your garden.
Fresh or Dried
Fresh is always better – but not always practical. If buying (or growing) your own herbs isn’t practical for you, there is no issue with choosing the dried versions – you just might need a little more than if you were using fresh.
Perfect to use as a garnish
Flowers From your Own Garden
If you’re hoping to find edible flowers in your own garden, it’s easier than you think – if you have lavender, roses, mint, or hibiscus – go ahead and start foraging. But if you’re not sure what’s safe and what isn’t, buying online is sometimes a safer option.
What Dishes to Serve with Your Floral Cocktails
If you’re serving cocktails, it’s always a good idea to supply food or something to eat for your guests. Something to soak up the booze – especially when you’re experimenting with cocktails – can mean the difference between a good night and a bad one. But what should you cook?
Tapas Style Snacks
Tapas is one of the best things to eat when you’re having a drink – especially if you have difficult guests – the variety means you’ll be pleasing everyone at the table.
Let’s be honest; charcuterie is just posh snacks – and we’re here for it. When you’re drinking cocktails (even delicious cocktails with a lavender garnish), you don’t want a meal, but you need to keep eating to be able to enjoy another – making charcuterie (or posh snacks) perfect for a cocktail night!
Floral cocktails are often much sweeter than other cocktails, and while it is always a good idea to balance flavors – if you’re going sweet, why not jump all in? Whether it’s cheesecakes, chocolates, or just a classic brownie – who can say no when it’s served with a cocktail?