Give your beverage of choice a beautiful, floral and herbaceous complement both you and it deserve.
You can eat flowers? Yes.
A perfect cocktail cube has three critical elements: 1) edible flowers 2) refreshing herbs 3) liquid libation to surround the cocktail cube.
In this post I will introduce you to my favorite edible flowers, essential herbs, and products I use to put it all together. Lastly, I will conclude with some of my go to cocktail (and mocktail) combinations.
Edible flowers add beauty and intrigue to any cocktail. Whenever I walk someone through the garden I always pluck a few flowers and tell them, “you can eat this.” They return my statement with a puzzling look. “No really, you can eat this flower. I promise.”
A very common assumption is that flowers are for looking at, not consumption! On the contrary. Here are my go to edible flowers that I grow, on repeat.
Borage is my favorite edible flower. Its blue flowers have a refreshing, cucumber-like taste. Added bonus: bees love borage and make a *very good* companion for vegetables that require pollinators. I personally grow borage intermingled with my summer squash. To harvest borage, delicately pinch the center of the bloom. The floral petal will fall off very easily in just a pinch!
Borage is a must for any backyard garden. Click here to shop my pick for borage seeds.
Bachelor’s button aka cornflower aka a tried and true garden favorite of mine. Bachelor’s buttons / cornflower typically come in beautiful shades of white, blue, pink and purple. I find that they don’t offer much flavor for the cocktail cubes (for better or for worse). They primarily add vibrant, deep hues.
Similar to borage, to harvest – just pinch the base of the bloom gently.
I have had a lot of success with several varieties from Botanical Interests: Blue Boy, Black Magic, and my personal favorite – Tall Blend. The Tall Blend lives up to its name!
Also known as Pot Marigold, Calendula is in the daisy family and can either be grown perennial or annual. Calendula is known for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Besides its healing benefits, calendula offers bright color to your garden and can be grown under the “cut and come again” method. Here are a few of my favorite varieties: Oopsy Daisy, Zeolights, & Resina.
Both the leaves and flowers of this plant are edible. For my cocktail cubes I harvested only the flowers. The leaves have a peppery taste like arugula. The flowers have a subtly sweet flower and melt in your mouth. Nasturtium is incredibly hardy – I grow it throughout summer and winter. It offers a beautiful accent to any raised bed. Nasturtium is typically found in orange, red, pink and dark maroon colors. My favorite varieties to grow are Single Blend, Jewel Blend, Alaska Variegated (the leaves on this variety are GORGEOUS) and Black Velvet.
Mint – strawberry, peppermint, mojito, spearmint
You can never go wrong with throwing some mint from the nursery in a pot on your balcony, patio, stair well or window sill and call it a day. I’m always on the lookout for new and intriguing varieties. From strawberry to chocolate to more conventional spearmint and peppermint – mint’s got your back. It is vigorous and grows rapidly and will take over any container that you plant it in. That’s why I prefer to grow it on its own in a secluded pot or container. I prefer to purchase mint as an established plant from the nursery. I have found that it is more successful and most larger seed providers don’t offer as much variety beyond basic mint mixes.
I was shocked when I found out that sweetener found in “healthy” soda and candy alternatives was truly a plant. Just one leaf of stevia will cure even the most insatiable sugar tooth. Similar to mint, I prefer to purchase this herb as a well established plant from the nursery. Stevia benefits from light pruning throughout its growing season to prevent it from going to seed or bolting.
I had the opportunity to grow this delicious basil variety when Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds provided it as a freebie with one of my seed orders. It has a bright, citrus flavor that complements any cocktail. I have also used it in salads and pastas.
Most of you are familiar with this plant. Lemon verbena boasts a variety of health benefits as well as a delectable scent. I purchased lemon verbena as a plant online from Burpee. Lemon verbena is a gorgeous perennial garden stable – crushing the leaves emits a delicious citrus scent.
Gathering Your Ingredients & Making the Cubes
Cuts healthy leaves and flowers off of the herbs and flowers listed above and rinse thoroughly to dislodge any critters and/or dirt.
Next, randomly mix up the flowers and herbs into large ice cube trays like these and fill with water.
Cocktail Recipe Inspiration
Here are some of the tantalizing cocktails and mocktails I have created with these tantalizing cubes!