Celebrate the Chelsea Flower Show by raising our pick of the best floral-based cocktails
Who said the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (22-26 May) was just for the green-fingered? Even if you don’t know your azaleas from your alyssums you can still celebrate the most eagerly anticipated event on the gardener’s calendar by raising your glass with a floral-based cocktail. Here’s our pick of five of the best floral-themed libations on the menu (and surprise, surprise, they’re not just for the girls…)
Lavender & Elderflower Martini
If you thought flowers in drinks were twee, think again. In this cocktail vodka is muddled with fresh lavender from the chef’s garden, then mixed with elderflower essence and a touch of lime juice. The result? A deliciously crisp, well balanced Martini with the lavender adding a delightful aroma and satisfying dry finish. You might be a few miles away from Chelsea but that’s not a problem. Sip this little beaut in the Kenneth Turner-designed garden overlooking Bedford Square.
Montague on the Gardens, 19 Montague Street, WC1B 5BJ, 020 7637 1001, montaguehotel.com.
Peach, Rose & Ginger Bellini
We’re talking rose champagne with just the right balance of peach and Domaine du Canton ginger liqueur. Dominic Jacobs’ recipe makes for a very agreeable variation on the classic Bellini as the ginger adds a nice touch of heat to the bubbles. With its blackberry and edible pansy garnish, this cocktail looks like it sits on the female side of the fence but don’t be fooled: we think this drink will go down a treat with both men and women alike. Try one on your way to or from the Chelsea Flower Show down the road.
Fifth Floor Bar at Harvey Nichols, 109-125 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ, 020 7235 5250, harveynichols.com.
Sweet, playful and girly with a capital ‘G’, this cocktail combines tequila, lychee liqueur, sugar syrup, fresh lemon juice and a rosebud tea infusion which is then poured in a long-stemmed coupe glass filled with crushed ice. The delicate blush colour is taken up a notch with a healthy drizzle of grenadine, a sprinkling of freeze-dried rosebuds and a dusting of edible sparkle. Not for those with an aversion to pink. Or roses…
Gilt Bar at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Cadogan Place, SW1X 9PY, 020 7235 1234, jumeirah.com.
The Chelsea Flower
Another lavender-based cocktail that packs a manly punch. This Martini from Grzegorz Mantey is a heady blend of Grey Goose Vodka, Creme de Peche de vigne, and Mette spiritueux de Lavande. It comes with a molecular ‘bubble’ of Crème de Violette which sits at the bottom of the glass and explodes in your mouth like a juicy Haribo. While you’re in playful mode, dip into the dressing up box with hippy flares, John Lennon glasses and fairy wings and really embrace the ‘Flower Power’ theme.
Bart’s, Chelsea Cloisters, 87 Sloane Avenue, SW3 3DW, 020 7581 3355, barts-london.com.
Best In Show
Okay, okay, this bar isn’t located in the Chelsea area or have a garden but we’ll park those minor details aside as it does have one of the most stunning floral cocktails around. Alex Kratena balances an intricate blend of Oloroso sherry, Japanese umeshu liqueur, orange flower water and mandarin bitters to create an absolute corker of a drink. Women will love it because it looks like a thing of beauty; men may well think it’s too feminine appearance-wise but will love it for the taste. We suggest sharing so you’re both happy.
Artesian Bar at The Langham, 1c Portland Place, W1B 1JA, 020 7636 1000, artesian-bar.co.uk.