With the warm weather finally in full swing, I’ve been thinking about how to get more creative with my summer cocktails. Some interesting ideas I’ve come across include incorporating kombucha, jun, mead, edible florals and more. In this article, I’m going to specifically be talking about using edible florals in drinks. They’re fun, they’re pretty and they definitely add a nice touch of summer to even the simplest of beverages.
Before we get into everything, it should be noted that you should only stick to flowers from the grocery store because not all flowers are edible. Some can actually make you seriously ill, so never eat flowers from a florist or nursery because they may have been treated with pesticides.
Edible flowers are commonly used in dishes across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Not only do they look beautiful, but they have an array of health benefits too! Most edible flowers are high in vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants. Other nutrients that can be found in a variety of flowers include vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin E.
I just got back from an island vacation and edible flowers as part of cocktails and juices were a common trend in many restaurants. My kids loved them and they were so fascinated with the fact that you can actually eat a flower, which gave me a fun decorative idea for juices at their birthday parties.
There are so many drink recipes that incorporate edible flowers as a garnish because it pairs well with the flavours of the drink, for instance, I saw a recipe for a rose martini with a garnish of rose petals on top. What a great idea for a bridal party or birthday party! It’s a fun way to add in some nutrition, while also making the drink look more extravagant. You can also mix the flavours of the flowers with different flavours of the drink, for example, a sweet fruity cocktail with a tart flower to create some contrast.
The best part is that there’s such a wide variety of edible flowers out there, you can do just about anything with them. My personal favourite for summer is the hibiscus flower. It’s tart in flavour, but if you are having it with a sweet drink, it usually compliments the flavour really well. Not to mention they are the perfect tropical flower for summer and can make any drink look unique.
I’m going to share 5 different types of edible flowers and their health benefits. I hope it will give you some ideas of how to incorporate them into your summer drinks next time you’re entertaining family or friends!
5 Healthy Florals to Add to Your Summer Cocktails
This delicate looking flower is high in vitamin C and is a source of iron. It has been used in medicines to treat problems ranging from coughs to UTIs. It pairs well with citrus cocktails because of the tangy flavour. You can try it on top of drinks made with blood orange, lemon or even on something more simple like a mimosa.
These tiny purple flowers can be used in a variety of food and drinks. Keep in mind it’s a very strong flavour, so a little bit really does go a long way. Adding too much to your cocktails can make them bitter. Lavender has soothing properties and may help relieve migraine pain and stomach aches. It pairs well as a sprig garnish on top of sweet cocktails or you can simply sprinkle the buds into a glass of champagne.
Rose petals are particularly romantic and delicate. Not only are they pretty but they also are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants! They also have anti-inflammatory properties, making them great for troubled skin. It pairs well with fruity cocktails – anything that has hints of strawberry or cranberry – and has a touch of sweetness. You can either put the rose inside the glass propped up on its stem, or sprinkle the delicate petals on top of the drink.
These flowers are known for their high antioxidant properties. They can be used topically for treating skin issues such as eczema and also can be ingested to help with respiratory issues such as cough. The great thing about pansies is that they have a very subtle flavour, meaning you can pair it with virtually any cocktail you want. The funky patterns and contrasting colours on the petals make them great for garnishes!
Last but not least, my personal favourite, the hibiscus flower! These tropical flowers are packed with antioxidants and can help control high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Hibiscus pairs well with fruity cocktails, or can go quite well with citrus notes. It’s quite strong, so if you are mixing it in with the drink, use it sparingly. You can also either use the entire flower, or just the petals as a garnish.
I hope this inspired you to get creative with your summer drinks this year!
Beautifully written by the talented Helen Sanders of Health Ambition