Floral mixes and Freddie’s best picks!
What could be better than flowers and cocktails? (Other than cut flowers brightening your home)? I simply cannot think of two better things. Strictly for research purposes only of course, I have been ‘researching’ some of the delicious cocktail trends in London. I can confirm, through my vigorous testing process, that cocktails have a very strong floral theme this summer. Visually identifiable by the cut flowers that decorate them.
So Old Fashion’ed
Move over G’n’T. Sayonara voddy lime and soda, you’re old news now. Step up, flowers. Mixologists all over London have got the flower power and are inventing these wonderful creations that taste fantastic and are also very aesthetically pleasing.
And what better timing. Cut flowers are in people!
The only downside is that they sometimes look far too pretty to drink. My love of flowers has taken me to meet some of the botanically inspired mixologists behind the blossoming cocktail creation. They’ve shared their intoxicating knowledge with me.
I learned it’s all about ‘’less juice and more infusions’’ according to one mixologist as I sipped on my aquavit, lavender, lime juice and rose extract cocktail called ‘The birds and the bees’. It’s all about floral liqueur, essence or syrup in cocktails these days for added depth and complexity. The classics are all rather old fashioned nowadays. Lavender, violet, hibiscus and elderflower are taking the place of tonic, soda and plain sugar syrup.
Here are some of my favourites for you to try:
The Lavender Martini. Take your inner mixologist out for a spin and try this at home, folks!
- 1 oz. crème de violette
- 1 oz. gin
- 1 oz. vodka
- 1/4 oz. Domaine de Canton
- 1/4 oz. St. Germaine elderflower liqueur
- 1 dash Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters
Or what about the Lady Rose?
- 1/3 oz. rose syrup
- 1/3 oz. pomegranate syrup
- 1 1/3 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. cranberry juice
- 3 fresh strawberries
- Red rose
I recently stubbled upon a wonderful pop up square called Ecclestone Yards in Victoria where I thought I would try their lovely floral cocktails (for the research, for the research) and I highly recommend going there for a taste or two.
There was a Chelsea Flower Show inspired cocktail I tried when we went to the Show called the ”Chelsea Summer Blush”. Now people, I won’t lie to you. This nearly knocked my socks off but it was so tasty I might have had two. The Chelsea blush included sloe gin, crème de violette, lemon juice, egg white and a spritz of lavender essence. I wish I could tell you the measurements but like I said, I had two.
It has only been in the last 10 years that the cocktail renaissance has really taken off. Cocktails are now an art – they’re innovative and that’s all down to the genius of the mixologists. You might think the term ‘mixology’ is a rather fancy name, like calling a florist a ‘floristronaut’ but I think its a perfect name for them. And I may just adopt ‘floristronaut’.
The term ‘mixologist’ came about when a hotel guest wrote in the 1860s about an encounter he had with a man in a hotel. A drunk hotel guest accidentally wandered into his room late at night, and when confronted, the drunk guest explained that the ‘mixologist of tipulars’ (barman) had told him his room was that way. As annoyed the guest was about the drunk intruder he rather liked the phrase ‘mixologist of tipulars’ and wrote about it in an article. It caught on.
Best flowers for cocktails?
The easiest and probably the best flowers to add a bit of razzle-dazzle to your drinks are:
Elder Flower – A British summer classic and never fails to work
Lavender – Very relaxing and will ease you into your cocktail mood
Hibiscus – Spicy and dramatic with a hint of citrus
Strawberry flower – Simply perfect for a lovely sweet drink
Drinkin’ about Town
London is thriving with pop ups and new cool dives for people to come and have a tipple after work or on their day off and with this wonderful weather we’ve been having, a floral cocktail seems to be the perfect sundowner. I highly recommend going out and giving them a try this weekend or when you get a chance. There’s absolutely hundreds out there.
Of course if you don’t choose the booze then take a look at our blog on ‘How do you drink your flowers? – Floral teas and tisanes”.