Transform your cocktails into something spectacular with edible spring flowers!
Springtime is all about blooming buds and fragrant flowers in full display – so why not adorn your favorite backyard cocktail with beautiful blooms? You can turn an otherwise run-of-the-mill drink into a tasty and artful concoction by infusing it with flower power. You will find a treasure trove of inspiration in Punch Bowl & Pitcher Drinks by Jeanne Kelley and Sarah Tenaglia (Clarkson Potter, 2015). Use floral liqueurs or infusions (think St. Germain elderflower liqueur or rose syrup) or try our favorite method: simply garnish your luscious libation with edible flowers like orchids. Here are two cocktails (plus an awesome ice mold!) complete with flowery infusions that will leave you twitterpated and flush with spring fever.
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PASSION FRUIT PUNCH
A great choice for a tropical party. Frozen passion fruit pulp can be found at some specialty foods stores and supermarkets. Nonpoisonous purple orchids can be found at most florists. Serves 16
3 cups gold rum
2 cups frozen unsweetened passion fruit pulp (such as Goya)
½ cup fresh lime juice, or more to taste
2 tablespoons Cointreau
4½ × 2-inch lime peel strips
4 cups chilled mandarin orange soda
Orchid and Lime Ice Mold (see below)
Nonpoisonous purple orchids (optional, for garnish)
- Mix the rum, passion fruit pulp, the ½ cup of lime juice, the Cointreau, and the lime peel in a punch bowl and stir until the frozen passion fruit dissolves. Mix in the soda. Taste, adding more lime juice if desired.
- Gently add the ice mold, top side facing up. Fill small cups with ice. Ladle punch into the glasses and garnish with the orchids, if desired.
ORCHID AND LIME ICE MOLD
Fill a 2-quart mold with water to 2 inches from the top. Add a few orchids, sliced limes, and halved passion fruit, if available (the fruit and leaves will float). Freeze overnight or wrap the frozen mold tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to one month. To release, turn the mold upside down. Place under running water until the ice releases.
Rose water is sold at some groceries, specialty foods stores, and Middle Eastern markets. The light musky flavor of the rose water will be cut right through by the fresh lime juice and sweet green tea. Serves 8
2 6-ounce baskets fresh raspberries (or 12 ounces frozen, thawed)
½ cup sugar
2 cups brewed green tea, chilled
⅔ cup fresh lime juice
½ to 1 cup gin, to taste
¼ teaspoon rose water
1 1/3 cups chilled sparkling water
1 Raspberry Ice Mold (see below)
Unsprayed red and pink rose petals (optional, for garnish)
- Thoroughly mash the berries and sugar in a small bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes.
- Strain the berries through a sieve set over a large bowl, pressing firmly on the fruit with a rubber spatula. Discard the seeds and mix the tea, lime juice, ½ cup gin, and rose water into the strained berry puree. Stir in the sparkling water and taste, adding up to ½ cup more gin if a stronger flavor is desired. Gently place the ice mold in a punch bowl, with the top side facing up. Pour the punch over the mold. Scatter rose petals over the punch, if desired.
- Fill 8 cups with ice, and ladle the punch over the ice.
RASPBERRY ICE MOLD
Fill a small mold with water to 2 inches from the top. Add 4 to 6 ounces raspberries (the berries will float). Freeze overnight or wrap the frozen mold tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month. To release, turn the mold upside down and place the bowl under running water until the ice releases.
Reprinted from PUNCH BOWLS & PITCHER DRINKS: RECIPES FOR DELICIOUS BIG BATCH COCKTAILS by Jeanne Kelley and Sarah Tenaglia. Copyright © by Clarkson Potter/Publishers. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.