Valentine’s Day Fun with Flowers: Introducing The Wild Hibiscus Royale…
I’m a big fan of Valentine’s Day. This probably comes as no surprise. Of course I love any celebration that involves flowers, food and drink. But there is something special about a holiday that exists just to say ‘I love you’. And although we tend to think of romance and candlelit dinners on Valentine’s Day, it’s also a nice time to tell your friends that you love them too. Remember way back when you made valentines for all your classmates? Or maybe you even baked special cookies and gave them away for a smile? Well you can still do that now if you want to, you know. Valentines Day is just plain fun.
And speaking of fun, awhile back my friend Mel gave me a jar of Wild Hibiscus Flowers as a gift. She’s so thoughtful, isn’t she? Â Deep red, gorgeous, edible, floating flowers… now doesn’t that sound exactly like something I would like? Of course. And although these lovely little hibiscus flowers and their syrup can be used in myriad ways, (as a garnish, in dessert dishes or drinks), Mel knew that I would have to pop one in a glass of champagne, creating what is known as a Wild Hibiscus Royale. But the blossoms and their sweet nectar also play a starring role in several other cocktails, including the Hibiscus Mojito, Sugar Daddy, Hi-Bellini, Hibiscus Daiquiri, and the soon-to-be tried Adam & Eve Martini.
I’d been saving my jar of hibiscus for a special occasion, but over the weekend I realized that if these floating flowers are as good as they look, then I must let you know about them in time for Valentine’s Day. I mean, what kind of person would I be if I kept this all to myself ? So here you have the visual evidence – gorgeous. And when the sweet hibiscus flowers and syrup are combined with a hint of mint and a whiff of rosewater, they blend perfectly with fizzy, dry brut champagne. But I must warn you, whatever you do, don’t put this syrup in a sweet bubbly, because that would ruin it – stick to a dry sparkling wine or prosecco.
Sure, you could buy regular old flowers. But why not float an exotic blossom in a sparkling glass of bubbles? I think ruby red Hibiscus Flowers make the perfect Valentine’s drink. Have a little fun. You know that I want you to…
Wild Hibiscus Royale
One Wild Hibiscus Flower* per glass
1/4 oz natural rose water, (available in most grocery spice aisles)
2/3 oz Wild Hibiscus Flower* syrup
2 Â Â sprigs fresh mint per glass, (one to muddle, one for garnish)
Brut champagne, dry sparkling wine or prosecco
In a champagne flute, muddle one sprig of mint to release oils. Remove crushed leaves from the glass. Add rosewater and place one Wild Hibiscus flower at the bottom of glass, carefully standing upright. Slowly pour champagne into the glass, filling 2/3 of the glass. Top with Wild Hibiscus syrup and a sprig of fresh mint.
*Wild Hibiscus Flowers ($10 for an 8.8 0z jar at Amazon.com), are available online, or through specialty retailers. Wild Hibiscus company is based in Australia and the hibiscus are hand picked on sustainable farms. Each 8.8 oz jar contains approximately 11 hibiscus flowers, and they may be used in a wide variety of cocktails, non-alcholic drinks and desserts. You can also float the flowers in glasses of sparkling water, ginger ale or whatever fizzy beverage strikes your fancy, for a non-alcoholic version of the Wild Hibiscus Royale.
Muddle mint leaves in a champagne flute to release oils, then remove the crushed leaves…
Add 1/4 ounce of rose flower water…
Add one flower from a jar of Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup. Stand the flower upright at the bottom of the flute, and fill the glass 2/3 full with dry champagne, sparkling wine or prosecco. Top with 2/3 ounce of flower syrup and a sprig of fresh mint.
Happy Valentine’s Day – Cheers XOXO – Michaela
Looking for something a little less sweet? Floral tea also makes a lovely Valentine surprise. It’s pretty to watch the dried flowers unfold in the glass teapot and it’s a really easy way to brighten a friend’s day…
And then there is the White Flower Farm gift certificate. I always prefer the gift of flowers with roots attached…
20% off White Flower Farm Gift Certificates Over $50 for Valentine’s Day! Use Code AS309. Offer valid 1/30/10 to 2/14/10
Article and photographs copyright 2010, Michaela at The Gardener’s Eden. All rights reserved.
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