This past year has been interesting to say the least. The world has had to spend a lot of time indoors and because of that, I craved being outside even more. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone on this…? With few options of places to visit al fresco, I began wandering the perimeter of my apartment complex quite often. I paid attention to the birds more, the neighborhood squirrel (who eventually I had a stand off with - he loves taunting me), and started to imagine what the space could look like with some extra TLC and color. And then those visions blossomed…literally.
I’m creative by nature, and suddenly I wanted to be creative with nature. I began filling the empty, scattered pottery vessels in the courtyard with flowers I purchased from the Home Depot on the frequent and it made me happy. The more I planted, the better I felt and the better everything started to look. Apparently, gardening is therapeutic.
Fast forward a couple of months and my neighbors start commenting on how we (I) should turn the center garden bed (which was currently occupied a few rose bushes) into a vegetable garden. I was reluctant at first, but once I planted my first tomato plant, I became somewhat obsessed and tried to add as many fruit and vegetable varieties as I could before summer came to an end. I was a “late bloomer” last season when it came to planting, but it didn’t matter too much to me. I was learning and I loved it. There’s something magical about planting seeds and watching them grow.
Before winter began, I placed an antique table and chairs a few yards from the garden so I could sit, sip, and survey the splendor of my long-awaited autumnal offspring. Seeing the fruits of my labor was very rewarding, and I knew a garden-inspired cocktail was in order. It didn’t take me to long to figure out a name for my new tipple - GARDEN PARTY
I decided to design a drink that combined fruity and floral notes, so I started with a boozy base of Empress Gin, which is made from butterfly pea blossoms and has a gorgeous indigo color. Cool fact: with the addition of citrus or tonic, Empress 1908 Gin transforms from vivid indigo blue to a delicate soft pink. The cocktail actually matched the color of my pink garden roses!
I also added some liqueur de violettes, homemade raspberry syrup, along with some rose water, lemon juice (from the tree outside) and an egg white to give it a frothy, silky blanket on top. P.S. A little rose water goes a long way, so I highly suggest using a dropper when adding this ingredient to this Garden Party cocktail recipe.
Not only is this spring drink delicious, but it’s pretty pink hue will make you swoon. Add your favorite garden variety flowers (make sure they’re non-toxic, of course) and create your own garden party cocktail and party for one.
(makes 1 drink)
2 oz Empress Gin 1908
3/4 oz liquer de violletes
1 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
*3/4 oz raspberry syrup
4 drops rose water
1 cup raspberries
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Bring ingredients to a small boil, then turn heat to low and let simmer for ten minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Strain and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
non toxic flowers (I used garden roses and chamomile)
Layers all ingredients in a cocktail shaker (except ice). Dry shake well. Add ice and shake again until shaker becomes cold and frosty. Use a Hawthorne strainer and strain liquid into your favorite coupe or martini glass. Garnish. Enjoy!