Drink Spring With These Flower Inspired Liqueurs and Cocktail Recipes!
Illustration It seems inevitable that just as seasons are changing from the cold months of Winter to the more amiable months of Spring, and Summer, that deep down desire to get out in to the sun and smell the...
It seems inevitable that just as seasons are changing from the cold months of Winter to the more amiable months of Spring, and Summer, that deep down desire to get out in to the sun and smell the green of the grass, and the heady perfume of flowers becomes less than a want, and more of a driving imperative. If your Spring Fever seems to be running deeper than usual this year, don't worry--you aren't alone! With the particularly nasty storms many of us have experienced in the last few months, it seems that need to embrace Spring and Summer has become a genuine obsession this season and that obsession is quickly finding it's way not only to the food we eat, but also to the spirits we are imbibing in to celebrate the end of the dreary and dark days of Winter.
If you are in the mood to not only enjoy Spring and Summer this year, but truly take it in, explore the lovely floral flavors of some not so commonly considered petal derived liqueurs and drink recipes.
Crème de Violette
Crème, or liqueur de violette was originally a French liqueur that can be dated back to the early 19th century. Crème de violette is usually made with a natural, or artificial violet flower flavoring in a brandy, or neutral spirit base and has a sweet, distinctly floral taste. Crème de violette is known for it's distinctive violet coloration and is often used in drinks more for it's color, than flavor, however it's appealing, light taste has been prized as a cordial for generations.
The classic crème de violette cocktail is the Aviation. This drink has been popularized in mixed drink recipe books since 1916, when it first appeared in Hugo Ensslin's Recipes for Mixed Drinks and remains the standard for those looking to imbibe in a violet themed drink.
To make the perfect, classic Avaition, mix 2 ounces gin, 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur, 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice, and a dash of crème de violette in a classic shaker with ice. Serve in a chilled cocktail glass with a lemon peel garnish.
Crème de Rose
Yet another flower derived liqueur that has, until recently, been difficult to find outside of France, crème de rose is similar to crème de violette with it's light, sweet (but not cloying), floral aroma and flavor. This liqueur, also sometimes known as Rosolio, is made in the same manner as crème de violette using roses for its floral componet. Although, most commonly associated with the Vicomte cocktail (1 oz gin, ¾ oz dry vermouth and ¾ oz crème de rose, served in a chilled cocktail glass), one of the more decidedly romantic (and obscure) drinks featuring crème de rose, is the Maiden's Kiss.
Built pousse-cafe style, the Maiden's Kiss is a bit of a historic treasure hunt, consisting of equal parts of five, often hard to find outside of France, ingredients served in a 1.5 oz pousse-cafe glass. Begin with ½ oz crème de rose, then layer as follows: ½ oz orange curacao, ½ oz maraschino liqueur, ½ oz Yellow Chartreuse, and finally, ½ oz Benedictine. If you can manage to obtain many of these historic liqueurs to build this one of a kind drink, you truly are deserving of the sweet maiden's kiss.
When you think of Mexican Liqueur, the mind inevitably strays into the coffee flavored liqueur of Kahlua and while it is a fine liqueur well worth its popularity in the world of mixed drinks, there are several other Mexican liqueurs that often fly under the cocktail enthusiast's radar. One floral flavored liqueur that deserves attention by those hoping to take a sip of Spring and early Summer is hibiscus liqueur, most commonly found under the name Xaica (pronounced shy-cah) from Casa Destiladora S.A. De C.V. A hibiscus infused liqueur, this ruby red, slightly sour delight embodies everything you love about the warmer months of the year.
While there are not many “classic” cocktail recipes that exclusively use this full flavored liqueur, it is the perfect addition to shake up a few of your old stand bys. Shake up your margarita routine by adding a ¾ oz of Xaica to your favorite margarita recipe for a stunning red, floral flavored margarita. Served with a hibiscus flower and sugar rimmed margarita glass, this cocktail will be the hit of your Spring celebration.
Whether your tastes favor the traditional, or the tropical, there are many floral based liqueurs to experiment with this season, and beyond. Branch out and take a taste of Spring with one of these amazing cocktails.