Peonies are one of my favorite flowers, but their blooming season is heartbreakingly quick. We now have a lovely row planted out front and I find myself sniffing the blooms like a weirdo that just can’t get enough. I wanted to find a way to preserve them in some way and decided to create peony petal ice cube molds to look like a blooming flower. After that I started brainstorming other ways I could use the edible petals. A particularly fragrant variety I steeped into a simple syrup which gave it a nice floral flavor.
A little of that, some gin, Elderflower liqueur, and a splash of lemon and the Peony Petal Gin Martini was born! It’s like a boozy lemonade with a hint of floral… but of course calling it a martini makes it sound far fancier! This is a great cocktail to serve for a summer brunch, bridal shower, or just any occasion where you want to be a little extra and a little fancy!
For Peony Simple Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups peony petals
This syrup will work best with a fragrant variety so you get the true scent and flavor. I used Duchess de Nemours. And if you don’t have peonies of your own, just take a walk in your neighborhood and you’re bound to find some! Just be sure to ask your neighbor before “borrowing” a few blooms!
Wash your petals to remove any dirt and bugs (ants love these flowers) and set aside. There were some other teeny tiny bugs I couldn’t seem to wash off, but I’ll get to how I removed those in a second. In a medium sized saucepan combine the sugar and water and bring to a simmer over medium to high heat. Once the sugar is dissolved add your peony petals (yes even if there’s still teeny tiny bugs). Stir to mix, cover, and then let the petals steep in the mixture overnight.
Once the petals have had a chance to infuse the syrup you can strain into a glass jar and discard the petals. Now about those little bugs… strain your syrup through a cheese cloth (or heavy duty paper towel worked for me) into another glass jar. Your syrup should be clear of any leftover bits that you don’t want! Seal the jar and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
Peony Petal Gin Martini
(makes 2 martinis)
4oz gin, chilled
2oz Elderflower liqueur, chilled
1oz Peony Simple Syrup
Juice from half a lemon (about 2 Tbs)
Fresh basil or mint
And of course… peony petal ice cubes!
I used whiskey ball ice molds to create mine or you could freeze petals in a traditional ice cube tray.
- Elderflower liqueur can be a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way. There’s also a ton of other cocktails you can use this in.
- If you happen to find this recipe outside of peony season, you can always use other edible flowers to create the ice cubes and just use a plain simple syrup instead. The Elderflower liqueur still adds a nice floral hint to the drink.
- As pretty as this cocktail is, she sure has a kick, so you can always top it off with a little club soda to turn it into a Gin Fizz and tone down the booze.
Combine gin, Elderflower liqueur, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a Country Cocktail Shaker (mason jar) and shake well. Pour over flower petal ice into martini glasses, garnish, and serve.