Inspired by the summertime bounty, we’re keeping things seasonal with these four floral cocktails.
This summer, don’t limit the flowers to your tabletop bouquet – add them to your cocktails, too. These floral cocktails, both modern and classic, put ingredients like lavender, orange blossom, and rose petals at the fore. Read on for recipe inspiration, as well as instructions on making floral-flavoured simple syrups of your own. We’d suggest pairing these serves with your nearest garden.
Rose and Lavender Gin Crusta
Whether made with gin, brandy, or another spirit of choice, Crustas have one thing in common: they require a long, spiral peel of lemon, which is meant to line the interior of the glass. This take on the Crusta is perfect for sunny weather sipping, thanks to the addition of floral lavender-infused gin and rose petal syrup.
20ml lavender-infused gin*
10ml Grand Marnier
15ml rose petal syrup (see simple syrup section below)
10ml simple syrup
20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 dashes bitters
Fill a cocktail shaker or pitcher with very cold ice and add all ingredients. Stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass lined with a lemon peel garnish.
*To make your own lavender-infused gin, add 1 ½ teaspoons dried lavender buds to a bottle of gin. Let steep for 24 hours before straining and re-bottling.
In recent years, preparations of this Prohibition-era classic have tended to go light on the crème de violette. For a more floral serve, it’s worth seeking out this ingredient (and it doesn’t hurt that the resulting cocktail is a delicately purple beauty).
10ml maraschino liqueur
15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
10ml crème de violette
To an ice-filled cocktail shaker, add all ingredients. Shake until chilled and strain into a chilled couple glass. Garnish with a Luxardo cherry.
This long, refreshing serve is perfect for when the weather is warm – and elderflower is the perfect addition to enliven the classic.
40ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
20ml elderflower cordial
Combine the gin and elderflower cordial in a Collins glass filled with very cold ice. Top up with sparkling water and stir once or twice to blend. Garnish with a traditional “flag” – that is, an orange wheel wrapped around a cherry and secured with a toothpick.
Ramos Gin Fizz
This New Orleans classic is a feat of cocktail making (it requires more than five minutes of solid shaking in order to produce that perfectly velvety consistency). We also love it for its aroma of orange blossom.
60ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
15ml freshly squeezed lime juice
15ml simple syrup
3 dashes orange blossom water
30ml single cream
1 egg white
60ml fizzy water
To an empty cocktail shaker, add all ingredients barring the fizzy water. Seal and dry shake (without any ice) for one minute, to ensure the ingredients emulsify properly. Open the shaker and fill with very cold ice. Shake until very well chilled for at least four or five minutes – the Ramos Gin Fizz is a notoriously labourious serve. Strain into a Collins glass and top up with fizzy water. Garnish with a lemon, lime, or orange wheel.
Bonus: Homemade Floral Simple Syrups
Looking for other ways to add floral notes to your cocktails? One of the simplest is homemade simple syrup, which is quick to prepare and which can be used in a variety of serves, from G&Ts to classic cocktails.
To make simple syrup, boil a 1:1 mixture of sugar and water on the stove. Once boiling, remove from the heat and add your floral ingredient (ensure that the flowers you’re using are culinary-grade, or, if you’ve picked them yourself, have not been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals). Steep for at least 20 minutes – taste and allow more time to steep if you’d like the flavour to be stronger – before straining, bottling, and chilling.
Lavender, elderflower, and rose petals are all good places to begin, though you can experiment with less-common ingredients as well, from meadowsweet to borage.