Perhaps the biggest trend of all in cocktail garnishes is the use of edible flowers to garnish the cocktail. Here is a comprehensive list of edible flowers and what drinks best suit the blossom.
Alliums (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives) – Known as the “Flowering Onions.” There are approximately four hundred species that includes the familiar onion, garlic, chives, ramps, and shallots. These spears with purple flower heads are great for any Bloody Caesar or Mary.
Apple Blossoms – Apple Blossoms have a delicate floral flavor and aroma and can be used to garnish martinis or cocktails made with applejack or brandy.
Bee Balm – Also called Wild Bergamot, this pretty red flower tastes like a mixture like orange and mint. It can be used to garnish drinks made with Cointreau, Vermouth, Triple Sec and Grand Marnier.
Broccoli Florets – The top portion of broccoli is actually flower buds. They can be speared or nicked to decorate the rim of a Bloody Mary.
Calendula – Also called Marigolds. This spicy edible flower, which tastes like saffron, can turn a Bloody Mary into more of an Orange Mary.
Carnations – Carnation petals are one of secret ingredients that have been used to make Chartreuse, a French liqueur, since the 17th century. For this reason, they are the perfect garnish to decorate any drink made with chartreuse.
Chrysanthemums – These tangy, slightly bitter buds ranging in colors from red, white, yellow and orange. They range in taste from faint peppery to mild cauliflower. They add a kind of Asian flavored twist to tomato based cocktails.
Citrus blossoms (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat) – Use these highly scented waxy petals sparingly to decorate everything from champagne cocktails to screwdrivers to Old Fashioned.
Clover – The sweet, mild licorice taste of clover buds goes well with Sambuca.
Cornflower – These bright blue flowers taste like cloves and compliment drinks made with Cointreau or Triple Sec.
Dandelions – This peppery blossom from the daisy family can be dropped into a tomato cocktail.
Geranium Blossoms – These bright pink blossoms are peppery and would like nice sprinkled on top of a martini. They also look great frozen in ice cubes and added to tall clear drinks.
Hibiscus – These gorgeous blossoms have a Cranberry-like flavor with citrus overtones. Used sparingly they would make an innovative garnish for a cosmopolitan.
Honeysuckle – These bright yellow petals taste look great garnishing a glass of Grand Marnier.
Impatiens – These multicolored flowers belong to the edible violet family and can be used in any cocktail.
Lavender – Sweet, floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes. The flowers look beautiful and taste good too in a glass of champagne.
Lilac – The lavender color of this slightly bitter plant would look great in a glass of champagne or a martini.
Nasturtiums – This peppery multi colored blossom peps up a Bloody Mary.
Roses – The flavor of a rose can depend on its variety but they can range in taste from strawberry to green apple-like to minty to peppery. They look great frozen in ice cubes and added to a drink
Violets – These purple blossoms have sweet distinctive flavor and compliment most clear drinks, especially if they are frozen in ice cubes.