Edible Flowers for Summer Drinks & Wedding Cocktails

DSCF9917Whilst outside we are all starting to think about Christmas and the frost has finally reduced the last of the edible flowers to pulp, in my head I am planning the flowers that we are going to grow for next year and we already have three times the number of weddings in the 2014 order book than we had this year which is very exciting. I'm not sure whether it is because the weather has been kinder to us this summer or whether is it because people are growing more adventurous about eating flowers but we've had a lot of flowers going out all over the country for cocktails and other summer drinks this year. We have edible flowers heading to London for the cocktail set; to smart catering companies for corporate events and weddings; to one of my favourite customers who is producing a cocktail book next year (but more on that later) and also directly to brides for their wedding drinks. Maddocks Farm Organics edible flowers also appeared in cocktails on the sofa at RHS Chelsea Flower Show where they were enjoyed by Alan Titchmarsh and Joe Swift and in Lavender cocktails on  Sunday Brunch where they were tried by the lovely Simon Rimmer, Tim Lovejoy and their guest, Olympic Athlete,  Christine Ohuruogu.My favourite wedding of 2013 was that of the lovely Carla and Nick . Carla's fabulous mum Marion and her partner Cliff have been working at Maddocks Farm Organics for nearly18 months under the WWOOFing scheme so they are very much part of the family and Carla and Nick's wedding was the first opportunity for Maddocks Farm Organics to grow traditional wedding flowers for Carla's bouquet and to decorate the venues instead of just the usual edible flowers - extremely nerve wracking stuff but the bride was extremely happy and Marion did a wonderful job of arranging everything.Edible Flowers in your Wedding DrinksEdible flowers work brilliantly in Wedding drinks irrespective of whether your wedding is a formal ‘champagne all the way’ kind of do or whether you are casually pitching a teepee in the back garden and opting for the DIY route. Edible flowers come in all shapes and sizes and add a wonderful sense of glamour and celebration to Weddings and other special occasions.  Pimms has long been associated with the beautiful blue stars of borage flowers and  tagetes work well citrus based drinks. Snapdragons are wonderful at ‘snapping’ onto the rim of glasses and work particularly well with very fizzy drinks such as champagne. A confetti of lovely petals will make any drink look appealing and brides should opt for smaller rather than larger blooms with drinks so that they compliment rather than compete with the drink.As important as adding ‘class to the glass’ they can also make the poor drivers’ non-alcoholic offering a lot more interesting and appealing.  It’s lovely to be able to really push the boat out for the designated drivers and also for children by making lovely fruit based punches. To be fair over the past few years the quality of the ready made soft drinks that you can buy in the supermarkets has improved dramatically but there are also many recipes on-line for lovely non-alcoholic punches and cocktails and adding fresh herb, fruit and edible flowers transform these into something really special. As well as using flowers whole to garnish drinks, petals can also be crushed with salt or sugar to coat the rim of glasses for cocktails. They then form little jewels of flavour and colour that are just stunning.Edible flowers are also wonderful set in ice either on their own or with mint to add some lovely colour and flavour to drinks and these can be done well in advance to be added to the drinks at the last minute. It is worth noting that ice cubes don’t have to be made purely of water that just dilute the drinks as they melt. I had a wonderful Gin based cocktail a few weeks back which had ice cubes made from Elderflower Cordial that released its wonderful flavour and fragrance as it melted changing the drink from one thing to another. Lemon juice can be added along with the flowers or lime or ginger. It’s entirely up to you. Thank you to our lovely real life bride Carla and her mother Marion for allowing the photos. All photos takes by Maddocks Farm Organics using our edible flowers which have also featured in cocktails at Chelsea Flower Show and on Channel 4s Sunday Brunch. Details of our edible flowers can be found at www. maddocksfarmorganics.co.uk . You can order edible flowers for cocktails or drinks direct from our on line shop