The right cocktails can turn any spring fling into a garden party, no matter how big your garden actually is. Even a small terrace outside your flat can become a fun and elegant springtime garden party. Set the tone with small containers bursting with blooms, bright arrangements, floral tablecloths, and these fantastic cocktails featuring edible flowers.
Garden Party Cocktails
Impress your guests with this delicious cocktail as well as your knowledge of mixology when you serve a Lavender Bee’s Knees. The original Bee’s Knees is a cocktail from the American Prohibition era – where “bee’s knees” was slang for “the best.” Honey and lemon covered up the taste of inferior bathtub gin, resulting in a cocktail that was both smooth and bright.
A lavender and honey simple syrup updates this Prohibition-era classic into the perfect garden party cocktail.
Lavender Bee’s Knees
60ml (2 US fluid oz) gin
20ml (¾ US fluid oz) lavender honey simple syrup
30ml (1 US fluid oz) lemon juice
Lavender Honey Syrup
90gm (¼ cup) honey
45gm (⅛ cup) hot water
1 tsp dried lavender*
Combine honey, hot water, and lavender and stir to combine. Let cool 30 minutes, then strain.
To make the cocktail, combine ingredients in shaker full of ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a sprig of lavender.
*English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) like ‘Hidcote’ or ‘Munstead’ are most often used in cooking.
Spring Flowers Cocktail
For a cocktail as beautiful as the blooms around you, try this combination of lilac simple syrup and creme de violet. Lilac has a floral citrusy aroma that pairs beautifully with the sweet flavour of violet liqueur. The Spring Flowers Cocktail can also easily be converted into a non-alcoholic beverage for party guests.
Spring Flowers Cocktail
30ml (1 US fluid oz) light rum
15ml (½ US fluid oz) Creme de Violette
15ml (½ US fluid oz) lilac simple syrup
120ml (½ cup) soda water
Lilac Simple Syrup
240ml (1 cup) water
128grm (1 cup) sugar
80grm (1 cup) lilac flowers, stems and greens removed
5-8 blueberries for colour (optional)
Prepare the Lilac syrup by combining the water and sugar on the stove over medium heat. When the sugar has dissolved, add the lilac flowers and simmer for 10 minutes. The syrup will be a bright pink colour, or if you add blueberries will turn a vivid purple hue.
To make the cocktail, mix all ingredients except soda water in a glass. Stir to combine, then add ice and soda water to taste. Garnish with a lime.
For a non-alcoholic treat, combine Lilac simple syrup with lime and soda water in a glass and garnish with a lime.
Pear and Elderflower Fizz
Make your own Elderflower cordial and serve guests a Pear and Elderflower Fizz at your garden party. Prepare your Elderflower cordial the day before and store in the fridge, where it can last for up to a month. According to the Drunken Botanist, the flavour molecules in Elderflowers are water-soluble, not alcohol-soluble, so the best methods for extracting flavour from the flowers is to soak them in simple syrup or water, not alcohol.
Pear and Elderflower Fizz Cocktail
1 part Elderflower cordial
1 Mint leaf
1 Pear slice
256grm (2 cups) sugar
480 ml (2 cups) water
80 grm (1 cup) fresh, clean Elderflower blossoms
Prepare the cordial a day before. Bring sugar and water to a boil. Drop clean blossoms into syrup, and allow to cool. If you will not be using your cordial the next day, add a preservative: slices of lemon or orange, a splash of vodka, or 28grm (1 oz) of citric acid (available at health food stores). Chill and cover, strain after 24 hours into a clean jar.
Prepare the cocktail by filling a blender with ice cubes. Add Elderflower cordial and blend. Pour into a champagne glass, then top with champagne. Garnish with 1 mint leaf and 1 pear slice.
Whether you entertain guests in a sprawling garden, or on a small concrete terrace, you can throw an elegant and chic spring garden party. Set the tone with floral accessories, some cleverly placed containers of blooms, the perfect playlist, and serve these smashing garden party cocktails. Your guests will surely be impressed.