Anyone for a floral cocktail? 

From magnolias to poppies, unique floral ingredients are sprouting up in enticing new cocktails and spirits – and according to some in the know, the cocktail world's (worst kept?) secret ingredient is a dash of your favourite bloom!

Image credit: Hendrick's Gin

Image credit: Hendrick's Gin

Even the bigger distillers are in on the act. Hendrick’s Master Distiller Lesley Gracie has created an exquisite gin by emboldening Hendrick’s Gin’s signature combination of cucumber and rose with a tantalisingly fresh floral infusion in a new limited-edition mix – called Flora Adora. According to the distiller, the theatrical base of juniper and coriander dances with lush and teasingly sweet floral characteristics for a magical and immersive experience for the lucky palate.

Hendrick’s aren’t alone in this floral foray. In recent years, much of the spirits industry has begun looking at the world through rose — or lilac or lavender — coloured glasses. As experts point out, this isn’t simply a flower plopped atop a drink as a pretty garnish. It’s part of a flavour revolution. Bloom Gin, for example, released a special jasmine-and-rose rendition, while Bombay Sapphire cultivated English Estate, a gin featuring the essences of pennyroyal mint and rose hip.

Flowers have a way of making every occasion more festive – including cocktail hour. “They’re beautiful, of course, but flowers can add really lovely flavours, as well,” says Cassie Winslow in an interview with Anthropologie. 

Cassie is the founder of the lifestyle blog Deco Tartelette, as well as the author of Floral Libations, a recipe book dedicated to flower-centric drinks. After experimenting with edible plants in her own garden in Santa Cruz, she realised how easily a few blossoms could elevate classic cocktails. “Most people don’t think to use them in the kitchen, but just like herbs, flowers are really versatile – some are sweet, some are spicy, others offer nice earthy notes,” says Cassie. “It opens up a whole new world of ingredients.”

Cool cocktails

The floral influence extends beyond spirits to cocktails – and has done for a number of years now. 

A few years ago, the swish Polo Bar at The Westbury Mayfair, a Luxury Collection hotel in London, teamed up with Moët & Chandon to celebrate the start of the summer season and the capital’s much anticipated RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Notes in the cocktails referenced wild gardens, raspberries, roses and blossoms.

A couple of our favourite recipes from the Westbury’s offering included:

MOONLIGHT: Reinventing a new Bellini with sugar on top...

  • Tanqueray 10
  • Lychee puree 
  • Active charcoal
  • Candy floss
  • Moet et Chandon Brut Imperial

EL PRIMERO: Short and sharp with a fruity twist...

  • Ketel One Vodka
  • Raspberry
  • Pickled lemon
  • Rhubarb bitter
  • Raspberry cordial
  • Sakura
  • Moet et Chandon Brut Imperial

We would love to hear what your favourite flower-inspired cocktails are. Drop us a line and we’ll share the best (as judged by our customer service team after they’ve tried them all) on our blog.

By Austin Clark 15 May 2023