Summer Drinks

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TRANSFORMING THE COCKTAIL AND MORE

Flowers are the colorful paint that decorates nature’s canvas. But their beauty goes beyond their bright petals — essences of honeysuckle, lavender and elderflower have been making their way into cocktails, foods and beauty products. Flower-infused cocktails are popular on the bar scene, and creative mixologists are mixing up cocktails with floral essences and infusions and garnishing them with delicate edible flowers for dramatic presentation.

Floral Recipes2Floral essences, made by distilling fresh flowers in water using sunlight, have endless applications and can be used in other drinks beyond cocktails, like teas and juices. A wide assortment of dried and powdered flowers — including hibiscus varieties like Jamaica, chai torsch, sorrel and bissap — can be found in specialty spice and tea shops; steep them in water for a delicious caffeine-free tea or add them to marinades, rubs, sauces and baked goods. And some fresh flowers, including pansies and some herb blossoms, also make elegant garnishes

So don’t be afraid to add florals to your food and drink — and not just as the centerpiece to a lovely table.

 

 

Mango Green Tea Peach Cocktail

Mango Lemonade

Mango-flavored green tea adds a tropical touch to this fruity summer cocktail.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes

2 tablespoons The Spice & Tea Exchange Decaf Mango Tea
32 ounces water
2 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
6 ounces vodka
¼ cup fresh lime juice
peach slices, for garnish (optional)

Heat the water to 175 degrees and steep the tea for 2 minutes. Strain and refrigerate until cold. Meanwhile, muddle the peaches in a large shaker. Add vodka, chilled tea and lime juice. Shake well and strain. Serve in a glass with ice and garnish with a slice of peach if desired.

WATCH AND LEARN

Hilton Head Monthly recently stopped by The Spice & Tea Exchange in Coligny Plaza for a lesson about how to to make a mean Hibiscus Mimosa and lovely Lavender Lemonade.

We captured the steps on video so you can learn too.

Lavender Lemonade

Lavender LemonadeThe floral notes are a refreshing twist on traditional lemonade.

Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes

7 tablespoons lavender flowers
¼ cup lemon sugar
2 cups water
¾ cups white sugar or honey
8 ounces fresh lemon juice plus lemon slices for garnish
5 cups cold water

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add lavender flowers, remove from heat and steep until the water starts to turn purple, about 12 to 14 minutes. Strain the lavender water through a strainer into a 2-quart heat-resistant pitcher. Add lemon sugar and white sugar and stir until dissolved. Add lemon juice, cold water and ice and serve. Garnish with small slices of lemon for garnish, if desired.

Blueberry Tea-Lemonade

Blueberry Tea LemonadeBlueberries are a surprising yet tasty addition to a refreshing Arnold Palmer, a blend of tea and lemonade.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes

¼ cup The Spice & Tea Exchange Blueberry Black Tea
¼ cup lemon sugar
16 ounces water
8 ounces fresh lemon juice
16 ounces sparkling water
¼ cup sugar
lemon slices, to garnish (optional)

Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Steep the Blueberry Black Tea for 4 minutes. Strain and add the lemon sugar and plain sugar to the tea and stir until dissolved. Cool to room temperature and add lemon juice and sparkling water. Mix well and serve over ice, garnished with lemon slice if desired.

Hibiscus Mimosas

Hibiscus Mimosas

The vibrant red color of this elegant cocktail makes it the perfect complement to any summer brunch.

 

Makes: 8 to 10 servings
Prep time: 68 minutes

 

1 ¼ cup hibiscus flowers
1 ½ tablespoons raspberry sugar
1 ½ tablespoons ginger sugar
12 ounces water
3 tablespoons simple syrup, light agave nectar or honey
1 750 milliliter bottle chilled champagne, prosecco or other sparkling wine

Set aside 8 to 10 hibiscus flowers for garnish. Place the rest of the flowers in a small pot; fill with the water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and steep the flowers for 3 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, discard flowers and chill for 1 hour. Pour simple syrup, agave or honey into a small shallow dish. In another shallow dish, combine the raspberry and ginger sugars. Dip the rim of a champagne flute or cocktail glass into the sweetener and allow the excess to drip off. Then dip the rim into the flavored sugars to evenly coat the rim. Fill prepared glasses with champagne, topping off with the chilled hibiscus tea. Garnish glasses with hibiscus flowers and serve.

Recipes courtesy The Spice & Tea Exchange of Hilton Head Island