Flower Bomb: Floral-Infused Cocktails Tantalize the Senses
As we usher in springtime and swap warming beverages for more refreshing and lighter options, everything is coming up roses. Cocktails blooming with flowery elements, such as floral-infused liquors and syrups, and even edible flowers, add fragrances, flavors, and colors synonymous with the season.
Three local bartenders mixed up delicate drinks that made us stop to smell the flowers and toast to the sunshine-filled days and beautiful blooms ahead!
Carrie Dubrosky, general manager of Bistro 19, proves floral and fruity go hand-in-hand with this bubbly concoction. Comprised of St. Germain; VEEV, a vodka alternative made with wheat, water, and açaí; pomegranate-cranberry juice; and pear nectar, the drink is topped off with Prosecco, which gives a boost to the scent of elderflower in this light, refreshing beverage. When seeking a food pairing, Dubrosky suggests taking the fruity route. She says, “Floral cocktails are best paired with something equally light, like our grilled salmon salad with dried cranberries and orange poppy [seed] dressing.”
Bistro 19, 711 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon. 412.306.1919. bistro19.com.
There’s nothing grim about this sweet and tart tiki-style margarita devised by bartender Hannah Morris of Tender Bar + Kitchen. The sunny libation hits all the right notes — floral, herbal, and citrus — with ingredients like St. Germain elderflower liquor, tequila, Green Chartreuse, cinnamon-infused simple syrup, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and Peychaud’s and orange bitters. Morris garnishes it with a fragrant pinch of cayenne pepper. She says, “It’s a good springtime drink to bring us out of the dark winter and into something light and happy.” Morris also offers smart advice for those crafting floral cocktails at home: “The key is to not outweigh the other ingredients. I typically limit it to less than a third of an ounce. Pick one flavor you like and go with it.”
Tender Bar + Kitchen, 4300 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412.402.9522. tenderpgh.com.
A whiff of this dreamy delight transports us to a flower-filled garden! Kaya Bar Manager Lorraine Kofalt intertwined three floral elements — Crème de Violette, which gives the drink its purple color; chamomile-infused rum; and Wigle Whiskey’s rosemary lavender bitters — along with ginever and lemon juice for a sweet, yet assertive, cocktail. Infusing liquor with floral elements pulls out a stronger flavor than crafting a floral-based simple syrup, and is surprisingly easy to do at home, according to Kofalt.
Kaya, 200 Smallman St., Strip District. 412.261.6565. bigburrito.com/kaya.