The consumption of a cocktail is an inherently sensory experience. It engages all the senses; the clinking music of glass against ice, the fragrance of all things floral or sweet, the crisp flavor of something new, the cold condensation within your palm, and last but not least, a beautiful visual creation of color, texture, and composition.
Flowers in Cocktails
Flowers have been used in cocktails for hundreds of years, and there are plenty of good reasons why. These delicate, colorful blossoms add beauty, flavor, and undeniable charisma to a wide variety of delicious drinks. However, adding a flower to your cocktail creation isn’t always as simple as it sounds. It’s important to understand every flower’s unique flavor profile, how it can enhance other flavors, and most importantly, which flowers are safe for us to consume.
If you want to add a fabulous floral touch to your cocktails, these seven edible flowers are a great start. From peppery nasturtiums to soothing chamomile, you’ll find a floral garnish that perfectly suits your drink.
Why Add Edible Flowers To Your Cocktails?
There are so many great reasons to add edible flowers to your cocktail mixes. Not only do they add natural flavor and aroma, but they also look beautiful and introduce bright colors to your drinks without the need for artificial ingredients.
Flowers offer an extremely broad spectrum of flavor. From mild and sweet to spicy and herbaceous, you can infuse your cocktails with loads of natural flavors by adding them to your drinks. Or you can simply use them as a garnish for visual effect—the choice is yours!
Nasturtiums are flowers with bright yellow, orange, and red petals. With a flavor profile similar to mustard, radishes, and arugula, these beautiful blossoms bring pepperiness and earthiness to any drink they are added to.
You can also consume nasturtium leaves, which look similar to small, green lily pads. These versatile flowers work well with flavors of citrus, particularly lemon, orange, and tangerine.
When it comes to the mild peppery flavor of a nasturtium, you need to balance it out with plenty of acidity and just a hint of bitterness.
The pansy is easily one of the most-used edible flowers used in the cocktail world. They come in a wide variety of shades, including indigo, sunshine yellow, blood red, and even black, which makes them very versatile, and their flavor is earthy and mild.
Due to their subtle flavor and wide range of colors, you can use pansies for just about any cocktail you like. They work extremely well as garnish flowers for champagne or gin and tonics.
Hibiscus is an incredibly popular edible flower, and it’s often added to beverages, both alcoholic and otherwise. In fact, you’ve likely already had a kombucha or iced tea that features it as an infusion. But if you haven’t, here’s what you can expect from this gorgeous blossom:
A large, pink flower with distinctly tropical aesthetics, the hibiscus flower offers a fruity, tart, and tangy flavor profile that complements a wide variety of mixed drinks.
To make the flower even more attractive, it releases a powerful crimson-colored pigment into any liquid it’s infused with, creating the potential for many interesting visual cocktail creations.
Honeysuckles add a burst of fruity sweetness to anything you add them to. With notes of jasmine, vanilla, and of course, honey, you can incorporate these sunny little blossoms into a wide variety of cocktails and mocktails.
One of the most popular ways to merge honeysuckle with cocktails is to make a honeysuckle-infused vodka, but these blooms also go well in wine-based spritzers, margaritas, and gin & tonics.
When most people think of roses, they think about giving or receiving them; not necessarily putting them in a drink. But these iconic, layered blooms are good for so much more than just romance. They are wholly edible and add a romantic, whimsical touch to a wide variety of drinks and food.
Rose possesses a potent floral fragrance that is sweet and almost perfume-like. Extremely aromatic, rose adds beauty and elegance to pretty much any creation it is included in.
The flavors of rose go very well with citrus, hazelnuts, and coconut. The flower also pairs beautifully with luxury spices such as cardamom and saffron. Turkish cuisine famously uses a lot of rose in both sweet and savory dishes, which can be a fun element to experiment with while mixing drinks.
Chamomile is a soft, gentle, and almost soporific flower that’s often used in tea for its relaxing and sleep-inducing properties. But this mellow, yellow blossom can also be used in certain cocktails, especially when you know what flavors it pairs with.
With its subtle herbal flavor, chamomile pairs very well with other mild garden aromatics such as bergamot, lime, and geranium. It works best in cocktails designed to elicit a tranquil atmosphere, as the qualities of chamomile tend to make people feel calm and comforted.
Violets, named after the rich, vibrant purple color of their petals, are another wonderful edible flower to add to cocktails. With a gentle, sweet, and subtle floral flavor, violets bring a sense of elegance and enchantment to everything around them.
But the pigment hidden in those petals is where a violet’s magic truly lies. When infused into spirits, syrups, or mixers, it produces a deep indigo color that is utterly captivating and unique.
Make Your Mixes Memorable With Delicate Edible Flowers
There are a million and one ways to make a good cocktail, but the presence of a flower adds near-instant upliftment to it.
From visuals to fragrance to flavor and pigmentation, flowers are so diverse in what they offer the senses. It’s no wonder why they’ve served as inspiration for both cocktails and mocktails for so many years.
Whether you’re making drinks at home, learning the art of bartending, or are an experienced mixologist with this list of edible flowers, you can add newfound creativity and innovation to your cocktails. Try something new and see what happens. The chances are you’ll discover a memorable and natural flavor combination that’s refreshing and inspiring.