Flower Power: How to Pick the Best Edible Flowers for Cocktailbianca
We’re used to dressing up our dishes with sauces, herbs, seasonings and even flowers, so why not extend the same courtesy to our drinks? There’s always a reason to raise a glass and plenty of reasons to make drinks as elegant, eye-catching and flavorful as they can be. When it comes to cocktail garnishes, edible flowers are surging in popularity among top restaurants and bars.
Want to attract new customers with impressive cocktails? Keep on reading to discover how to give your drinks a little extra flair using edible flower garnishes!
The art of garnishing cocktails is not new, in fact it goes all the way back to the 19th century. Since then, garnishes have gone from mere finishing touches to key ingredients in many cocktails, making them stand out by adding a pop of color, character and style.
Besides fruit and vegetable slices, twists and peels, olives and fresh herbs, bartenders have also turned to edible blooms to help enhance the visual appeal, aromas, and flavors of cocktails. Thankfully, there’s a long list of flowers that can be safely used for cocktail garnishes. Lavender, violas, nasturtiums, roses and orchids are just a few popular choices.
What flowers are edible?
Flowers come in a variety of shapes, textures, colors and sizes – making them extremely appealing for garnishing desserts, drinks, salads or even charcuterie boards. However, only some of them are also edible – meaning they are non-toxic and contain no chemicals, therefore they can be safely consumed by your customers.
Here are a few types of edible flowers that you can safely add to food and drinks:
- Squash blossoms
- Cherry blossoms
Why use edible flowers as cocktail garnishes?
Floral garnishes add a delicate and playful touch to your cocktails, provide a color contrast that makes them stand out and even enhance the drinks’ flavor and fragrance in subtle ways. Despite their small size, they can make a big difference by improving the cocktail’s presentation and elevating the entire drinking experience.
How to garnish cocktails using edible flowers?
When it comes to using edible flower cocktails, there’s a whole world of textures, colors and flavors to play with. The possibilities are almost endless.
That being said, here are a few popular ways to use edible flowers in drinks.
- Let them float – Simply place a blossom or more on top of your drink.
- Use a cocktail pick – Combine different (preferably small) flowers using a cocktail pick.
- Apply some blossoms to the rim of the glass – Moisten the rim of your glass with lime and stick some small flowers to the edge.
- Turn them into ice cubes – Surprise your guests with fresh edible flowers frozen into cubes of ice.
6 edible flowers that make excellent cocktail garnishes
The list of edible blossoms that can turn your cocktails into absolute crowd-pleasers and head-turners is long. But here are some of our top picks for the best-tasting edible flowers:
The classy, elegant rose is the perfect finishing touch for a bourbon cocktail, but it works just as well with other spirits such as vodka or gin. Rose petals add a slightly sweet, floral scent and flavor to the mix, that will make your drink look and taste exquisite.
Pansies are some of the most popular edible flowers for cocktails. Their delicate appearance, wintergreen scent and fresh flavor make them a wonderful addition to any drink, such as the elegant Pansy Gimlet.
Pre-soaked hibiscus blooms also make great cocktail garnishes, particularly when whiskey is involved. They bring a slightly tart, pomegranate-like taste to the mix and their bold colors can liven up any drink.
As far as edible blooms for cocktails go, honeysuckles are a crowd favorite. These beautiful flowers give off a powerful honey-sweet scent and if squeezed, they can also release some delicious nectar. Honeysuckles pair very well with gin, resulting in delicate concoctions such as the Honeysuckle 75.
Who doesn’t adore the strong floral scent and flavor of lavender? This edible flower can be used as a garnish for cocktails either fresh or dried. It’s best to use culinary lavender to make sure it’s perfectly safe to eat. Lavender goes well with a whole range of spirits, but a Lavender Martini is an excellent place to start.
It may or may not surprise you, but sunflowers have also made their way to the cocktail world and make colorful, beautiful garnishes that can brighten up any drink. Due to their slightly bitter taste, they shine best in citrusy cocktails such as the Helios Margarita.
Where can you find edible flowers for your cocktail garnishes?
If you’re all loaded up on inspiration but don’t know where to find edible blooms for your next round of cocktails, don’t worry. You can always find wholesale edible flowers – along with a wide range of fresh produce, groceries and more – right here at Riviera Produce.