Impress your guests this New Years with our guide to using plants and flowers in cocktails.
Lavender is a versatile herb that pairs well with different base spirits and liqueurs. Its unique floral note particularly goes well with gin cocktails as it enhances the floral components in most gins.
Lavender can either be used fresh or dried. Fresh lavender adds earthy and bitter flavour to your cocktail with subtle floral aromatics while the dried ones are not as bitter and have an intense lavender essence. You can use Lavender as a syrup, infuse it with honey or simply muddled with other ingredients. Fresh lavender flowers can also be used as garnish in a champagne flute.
Try Lavender with your next dry gin martini, cucumber based cocktails, and champagne cocktails.
Hibiscus add vibrant colours to cocktails and edible hibiscus flowers are commonly used as a garnish in cocktails. The inherent tartness of hibiscus can help balance the sweetness of a cocktail if you do not like the acidity of citrus.
The common method to incorporate hibiscus into a cocktail is by preparing a simple syrup and using the flowers as a garnish and adding hibiscus infused tea to cocktails.
Hibiscus pairs well with gin and tequila based cocktails while the smoky spirits such as scotches may overpower its floral notes.
Rose petals are aromatic, floral and have a slightly sweet flavour. There are three different ways to use rose petals in your cocktails. You can simply muddle fresh rose petals and infuse with your drink or you can either prepare a syrup or a rose water. Syrup offers maximum flavour while rose water is aromatic. Add a few drops of rose water to make your syrup aromatic.
Rose syrup works well with citrus, sparkling wine and mint and it is a great floral alternative to sweeten your summer cocktails such as Pink Lemonade with Gin.
Mint is a staple ingredient in cocktail drinks such as the classic mojito. The cooling herb adds a distinctive taste, infuses intense aroma to your drink and offers a cooling sensation with every sip making it a perfect summer drink.
It is important to use fresh mints to get the best result. You can also freeze mint after picking it to preserve their flavour. Two common ways to use mint in cocktails include infusing muddled fresh mint and making a mint syrup. They are also used as garnish.
In addition to the classic mint mojito, other popular drinks include southside cocktail, whisky smash, mint gimlet, and watermelon martini.