Chelsea Flower Show inspires bars to create floral cocktails

Chelsea Garden

Creativity has blossomed at bars in London and nationally with a variety of cocktails inspired by this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Running from May 24 to 28 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the international event has inspired a cocktail on the menu at The Slug and Lettuce bars around the UK. The floral-inspired English Country Garden (pictured below) is a refreshing summery drink combining gin and flavours of elderflower, apples, cucumber and mint.

The English Country Garden
37.5ml Hendrick’s Gin
12.5ml St-Germain elderflower liqueur
12.5ml Gomme syrup
8 Mint Leaves
3 Cucumber slices
3 Lime wedges
37.5ml Apple juice
Muddle the mint, cucumber and lime and add the gin, liqueur and gomme syrup in a long crystal glass. Add crushed ice and churn with bar spoon. Top with apple juice. Cap with crushed ice. Garnish with mint and a cucumber wheel.

English Country Garden

Guests at the bar at Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred City Social can enjoy the fresh and floral Pea & Tea cocktail, made with Ford’s gin infused with sugar snap peas plus lime juice and electric camomile tea syrup, topped with tonic water. It is garnished with pea shoots and seasonal flowers as “an ode to the beauty of British gardens and spring ingredients”.

ETM Group’s The Botanist restaurant and bar in Sloane Square has teamed up with Bloom Gin to create two floral and botanical cocktails alongside a carnival-inspired pop-up this week.

The pop-up in Sloane Square will be serving the refreshingly fruity Chelsea de Janeiro (pictured below), a mix of Bloom Gin, The King’s Ginger liqueur, kiwi, hibiscus, grapefruit bitters, pink grapefruit and pineapple syrup. Classic gin and tonics will also be available as well as Joseph Perrier Champagne, wine, beer and soft drinks. The pop-up runs from Wednesday May 25 until Saturday May 28, from midday to 8pm.

Head inside The Botanist itself and discover the limited-edition Botanist Floral Spritz, featuring Bloom Gin, Belsazar White vermouth, British aperitif Kamm & Sons, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and a dash of Angostura bitters, topped with soda and garnished with cucumber, dill and an edible flower.

Chelsea De Janiero Bloom Gin

A floral cocktail, Violet Pearl Bloom, has been created at St James’s Hotel & Club in St James’s to tie in with a partnership with renowned florists Hayford and Rhodes. It contains Belvedere vodka, fragrant jasmine pearl tea, violet-infused liqueur and Lillet Blanc.

The partnership also sees a board-game-inspired floral takeover at the hotel, including giant chess pieces outside and other game-themed features.

A range of cocktails comprising edible flowers, fresh fruits and floral infusions has been created at German Gymnasium restaurant and bar at King’s Cross to mark the annual flower show.

They include a particularly light and citrus offering, Ikebana, based on the Japanese art of flower arranging, which combines Tanqueray No Ten gin, elderflower cordial, matcha and lemon juice, garnished with a single, edible orchid.

German Gymnasium has also transformed its terrace with fresh flowers alongside a food menu featuring edible flowers.

At The Imperial in King’s Road, a special “gin” garden, with fragrant plants, is being created for Scottish gin Caorunn to tie in with the flower show. On May 26 and 27, Caorunn’s Edible Highland Garden will offer summer cocktails such as a Mint Julep, mixing the gin with mint leaves, peach bitters, Dr Adam Elmegirab’s Dandelion & Burdock Bitters and sugar, and a Blush Apple Martini (pictured below), made with gin, pressed apple juice, lemon juice and gomme syrup, garnished with freshly picked raspberries. The Goodness Rose combines Caorunn Gin with raspberry jam, rose water, orange bitters and pink grapefruit juice, garnished with rose petals picked from the garden.

The pop-up will also offer Caorunn’s signature G&T serve red apple slices. Visitors to the garden will be invited to pick their own garnish to complement their drinks, from rose petals and raspberry leaves to blueberries, mint and thyme.

Caorunn Blush Apple Martini

Purple Bar at Sanderson is inviting guests to brave “dangerous ingredients from the forbidden garden” with The Flowers of Evil, with Beefeater 24 Gin, Bénédictine liqueur, Yellow Chartreuse, absinthe, jasmine tea, honey and rose water.

Blind Spot at St Martin’s Lane Hotel is serving three floral-inspired cocktails, acknowledging how its location was once the site of the historic Covent Garden Flower Market. They include the Flame Nettle Fizz – a tasty combination of Cabeza tequila, flame nettle and peppermint tea syrup, maraschino liqueur, fresh lime and soda water.

Peruvian restaurants Lima and Lima Floral are in full bloom during the Chelsea Flower Show, with a range of dishes garnished with rare and unusual flowers and a special cocktail, the Chilanco Rosa. With a pisco base, this is shaken with lime and hibiscus flower and topped with ginger ale.

This year, Tom’s Kitchen Chelsea in Cale Street is celebrating the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with beautiful floral decorations and a range of special dishes on the menu, inspired by British flora.

The restaurant’s signature Chelsea Garden cocktail (pictured top) will also be on offer made with Hendrick’s Gin, elderflower, cucumber and apple juice.

Founder Tom Aikens says: “It’s a month of floral celebration for the local area, so of course we want to join in the festivities and help to showcase Chelsea in bloom. Flowers not only add a touch of elegance, they also add a unique flavour to starters, mains, desserts and cocktails.”

Chelsea Garden

1 thick slice of cucumber
50ml Hendrick’s gin
5ml Elderflower cordial
50ml Apple juice (not fresh)
Garnish: 1 thin slice of cucumber and seasonal edible flowers, such as violas, elderflowers or marigolds
Muddle the cucumber with the gin, elderflower cordial and apple juice in a shaker. Shake and double-strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a slice of cucumber threaded onto a cocktail stick plus your choice of flowers.

Updated May 25, 2016 with Caorunn Gin pop-up.

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