How to Decorate Cocktails With Fragrant Herbs

One of the most contemporary ways to decorate cocktails is with very aromatic herbs. You can just use the plain herb or you can also use it when it is in full flower for a beautiful effect. Here is a look at how you can use herbs in cocktails.

Angelica – Depending on the variety, flower range from pale lavender-blue to deep rose. It has a flavor similar to licorice. Angelica buds are perfect for garnishing drinks made with Sambuca, Pernod or Galliano.

Arugula -. An Italian green usually appreciated raw in salads or on sandwiches. The flowers are small, white with dark centers and can be used to add an intense, sharp spicy taste to Bloody Mary’s and Bloody Caesars.

Basil – Depending on the type, the flowers are either bright white, pale pink, or a delicate lavender. The leaves can be rolled up and skewered along with cherry tomatoes to garnish tomato based drinks. Linguine with Tomatoes and Basil

Borage – These blue star-shaped flowers taste like cucumber. They are good in bloody drinks and gin and tonics.
Cilantro/Cilantro – These leafy green herbs give tomato based cocktails a Mediterranean vibe. They are also great in martinis that have an Asian flair or that are citrus or pepper flavored.

Dill – Bright yellow dill flowers look great floating in a Bloody Mary.

Fennel – These yellow, licorice-scented star shaped flowers suit Harvey Wallbangers.

Lemon Verbena – These cream-colored citrus-scented blossoms add a kick to gin and tonic or gin and soda.

Marjoram – The tiny pinkish flowers can be sprinkled sparingly on top of a tomato based cocktail.

Mint – The flavor of the flowers is minty, with different overtones depending on the variety. Mint can be used to garnish any cocktail you like whether it be savory or sweet. They are particularly pleasant in rum based cocktails such as the Mojito.

Oregano – This tastes smoky and beautiful added to a martini with an olive.

Radish Flowers – Depending on the variety, flowers may be pink, white or yellow, and will have a distinctive, spicy bite (has a radish flavor). Best used in tomato based drinks

Rosemary – Sprigs of rosemary can give a very dry martini and interesting snap.

Sage – The flowers are violet-blue, pink or white clusters and suit a Bloody Mary best.

Tarragon – A spike of tarragon adds interest to a martini or tomato based cocktail. It also suits lime based cocktails well.

How to Decorate Cocktails With Edible Flowers

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.