We love flowers!! What we love even more are flowers you can eat!!
Not only beautiful but with a range of tastes too, flowers work incredibly well as cocktail garnishes either with alcohol or alcohol free. Our background in wildfood foraging and all things planty and edible inspired us to write some notes about edible flowers that you can use in cocktails, on a cake, or even in a salad.
We are in mid Summer now but Rose started to take photos of edible flowers for our instagram feed (@baxbotanics) back in Spring so here are a few suggestions for flowers to brighten up your creations.
Sometimes a single petal might be perfect, or it might be little florets stripped from the stem. Have a look and see what you have growing nearby.
Flowers and plants bring us so much joy, when collecting them and using them in the kitchen. Hope they do the same for you.
We have talked about some of our favourites below and there are even more to choose from in the photos. It is such a big, inspiring subject and so we will revisit this blog page and add more suggestions as the year goes on.
Have fun!! But please, please, please always be sure your flower garnishes are edible and be sure of your identification. Drop us an email if you are not sure and we will try and help firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring is our favourite time to forage. There is the most incredible range of tastes, scents and colours available.
Daisy: Its all about the looks for the daisy with no strong flavour, but the intensely yellow centre and delicate white petals make it a real looker.
Marigold: So brightly coloured they almost glow! A range of garden varieties with different hues, they flower right through the year. The ones in the photo had flowered through the winter but were just getting back to their best. The flavour is slightly bitter sometimes with a hint of pepperiness and floral notes.
Dandelion: Bright golden yellow and they spring up everywhere, making them an easy wild garnish to find and pick. Use whole flowers or use pulled petals in ice cubes. See Chris make dandelion bhajis, the perfect snack to eat with a few cocktails!
Sweet Cicely: Not only a beautiful froth of creamy white flowers but an intense hit of aniseed scent and flavour. Its great as a garnish, the flavour matches really well with Bax Botanics Verbena, but it make a great ingredient for oxymels, syrups and shrubs too. Note : this plant has some dangerous lookalikes so be sure of your identification.
Ox-eye Daisy: Giant daisy flowers with leaves that taste of cucumber. You can use the whole flower but the pulled petals work well too.
Elderflower: Delicate and pretty with a scent and taste all of their own. Elderflower makes a lovely garnish but as a taste ingredient it really comes into its own. Syrups, cordials, ferments, shrubs and oxymels, you can make them all with the multi talented elderflower. Have a look at some elder recipes here at Taste the wild a foraging company set up by Bax Botanics founders Chris and Rose.
Comfrey: From the same family as Borage and has the same cucumber flavour and scent. Great for adding into Pimms style summer punches but also as a flavoursome addition to a Bax Verbena and tonic. The leaves can sometimes be a bit hairy but no such problem with the flowers. Colours ranging from white to deep purple.
Chamomile: Not just for tea! Although a chamomile infusion or syrup is a tastily floral addition to your cocktail cabinet. Works really well with honey and citrus flavours. as a garnish it is a florally aromatic flower with pretty and flavoursome foliage.
Vetch: A wild pea! There are lots of vetch varieties indigenous to the UK and I am pleased to say they are all edible. The flowers are sweet, fresh and pea flavoured as well as being beautiful. The shoots and tendrils also have great flavour and look just like a pea shoot. A great edition to garden cocktails where you need something fresh and sweet.
Rose: Ah… the lovely Rose. Not all roses have flavour and scent and you can use them to add colour even if they don’t. undoubtedly the scented varieties steel the show and are an age old flavouring for food and drink. They can be used as they are or used to create floral waters, syrups and infusions. Think Wild Rose Sangria or Rose martini!
Lavendar: So Summery, lavender has a very strong flavour and has a tendency to overpower but used well it adds subtle herbal and floral notes. @the.cocktails.i.make created an amazing Lavender Sour using Bax Botanics and Lavender syrup.
Fennel flowers: We love Fennel, it is all over our garden and we use the fronds and the flowers for both garnish and flavour. Aniseed in flavour and with a lovely sweetening effect it is delicious from the shoots in Spring through to the pollen filled flowers of Summer. Try out this alcohol free Fennel Punch and add a lovely fresh fennel garnish.
Late Summer (Added 14.08.2020)
Evening Primrose: Exotic looking flower with little scent or flavour, it will bring a little tropical sunshine as a garnish.
Hollyhocks (all colours): Big, blousey and oh so beautiful. Makes a real statement as a garnish. Lots of colour no real taste.
Mugwort: Has a savoury menthol like taste, which accentuates umami flavours like mushroom, seaweed and tomato. Gives a Bloody Mary an extra punch!
Golden rod: Bright yellow and packed with sweet honey fragrances, a perfect Summer garnish!
You might not realise there are actually some flowers that could be very poisonous. They’re not all wild either, some real garden favourites are seriously dangerous!
With more people making fabulous cocktails at home we want to help make it easy to stay safe.
Please get in touch with any questions.