Fresh herbs and flowers are always a simple and stunning way to garnish a drink, but with so many types of edible flowers, there are a few you might have missed.
Lavender, orchids, nasturtium, and rosemary – all of these are common edible plants used in cocktail garnishes, but there are so many other plants you can choose from to create something that looks and tastes fantastic. It’s important to note that when sourcing flowers for garnishes, make sure they are pesticide-free or food grade. Not all flowers are grown for consumption, after all. If foraging or growing your own flowers and herbs, avoid pesticides when possible and plant away from the roadside where exhaust may affect the taste of the blooms. Additionally, make sure your menu has an allergy warning. While most flowers are not a common allergy threat, you can never be too safe. We’re starting with a few flowers and herbs that are easy to find so that you can get to your next cocktail ASAP!
This member of the mint family is also known as wild bergamot and can be used in a range of ways. Both the leaves and flowers are edible. The flowers can be incredibly dramatic and abstract in appearance and range in color from red to purple and pink. While the leaves have a bergamot flavor, the flowers have notes of citrus, mint, and oregano.
If you’re working with a savory cocktail that needs a floral touch, look to flowers from the allium family. Chives, garlic, and leeks all produce edible flowers. Chive flowers are particularly fun and can be used as an understated garnish on a Bloody Mary or a savory martini.
The small and highly fragrant flowers of the linden tree come in small clusters that make them unique for a garnish. Linden only blooms for a short period in late spring, but the scent and flavor are dramatic and reminiscent of honey. When used as a garnish on a cocktail, it can create a dramatic sensorial experience and bring out the sweet and floral notes.
Both small white clover and large red clover flowers are edible, but be sure to acquire them from areas away from roads and away from where any pesticides may be sprayed. The flowers can be lightly sweet with an anise-like flavor and a lightly floral and grassy scent.
A flower as dramatic looking as fuchsia seems like it shouldn’t be edible, but both the flowers and berries of the plant are edible, although not incredibly tasty. The flowers tend to be slightly acidic, but when floating in a cocktail, it will not alter the flavor.