Spring is coming, it's time for some Flower Martinis!
I was recently sent some lovely jars of hibiscus flowers packed in syrup from Wild Hibiscus for creating some new and unique cocktails. Edible flowers are all the rage in the culinary world at the moment, though floral flavors are nothing new to the world of food or drink. The Bible mentions dandelions as one of the "bitter herbs", the Romans used mallows, roses and violets often in their dishes, teas have been infused with flowers for thousands of years, and the Victorian era was big on fresh flowers in salads.
The resurgence of the popularity of flowers as food* has opened up a surge of creativity in the garnishing and flavoring of cocktails, bringing a whole new bouquet of bounty to happy hour. In my Hibiscus Martini I have used the unique tartness of the flower to bring a subtle floral flavor to a citrus cocktail. I also used the hibiscus syrup in place of simple syrup, bringing even more flavor and adding a burst of magenta color!
*Not all flowers species are edible and not all edible flowers are "food quality". Here's a great list of Edible Flowers from Epicurian.com and here's a good article from Chef's Blade on How to find and use edible flowers.
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