Springtime Cocktails with Floral Ice

Now that the flowers are blooming and the grass is growing, it’s time to break out the backyard BBQ and celebrate with a fresh, fruity spring cocktail!  A toast to the warm weather, the Derby, or even one with that can be shared with the kids can only be improved by adding some beautiful floral ice cubes.

There are several edible, spring flowers that can be added to salads, used as garnish, or in this case added to ice to dress up any kind of drink.  Gardenias, orchids, and pansies are some of my favorite edible flowers to use making floral ice cubes, but you must be sure that the flowers are grown organically and do not contain any pesticides before you use them.  Don’t assume that you can just pick up a flat of flowers and use them in your drinks.

To ensure that your ice cubes are extra clear and the flowers have their full effect in your spring drink, use distilled water that has been boiled and cooled.  Using extra-large ice cubes trays is also a good idea, the ice melts slower and you can use larger flowers.  First fill your ice cube trays a third of the way full and freeze completely.  Then add a flower or a couple of petals to each ice cube and finish by covering with more water and freezing again.

There’s no better way to share the springtime air than with a punch bowl full of Citrus Spritzer.  In a large punch bowl mix three cups each of orange and grapefruit juices, with two cups of premium vodka.  Complete with a bottle of your favorite champagne and float several floral ice cubes in the punch bowl to give it fresh flair and watch your guest awe at your creation.

May marks one of the greatest reasons to pull out your fanciest sun dress and an extravagant hat to embrace those Southern roots of yours, Kentucky Derby style.  And what better way to celebrate than with a refreshing Mint Julep.  With only four ingredients, you can’t serve classic, Southern hospitality any easier.   Simply muddle two mint sprigs in a tumbler, add one part simple syrup to three parts top-shelf bourbon, and top off with club soda if desired.

The kids will love being able to enjoy a fancy drink like the adults with a yummy Strawberry Lemonade!  All it takes is one pint of pureed strawberries, one cup of simple syrup, one cup of fresh lemon juice, and five cups of water.  Mix all of the ingredients in a large clear pitcher and serve in mason jars with a stripped straw and some fun gardenia ice cubes to complete the look.

All of your springtime guests will be impressed by the time that they think you spent on putting together these impressive drinks.  Actually, maybe you’ll want to keep these special drinks for your family or you may wind up with a few more friends than you thought you had.  Cheers!

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