Mojito season is starting early with this spring flower-infused vodka mojito recipe! This classic minty cocktail is freshened up with a simple homemade herbal syrup infused with edible spring blossoms. It’s perfect for a poolside or porch swing sip.
Plus, adding botanicals to your beverages is such a simple and delightful way to reap the nutritive and medicinal benefits of the plants.
HERE YOU’LL FIND:
The Sure Signs of Springtime
Foraging for Edible Flowers
Edible Flower Ideas for Your Vodka Mojito
Preserving the Season the Herbalist’s Way
How to Make a Quick Herbal Syrup
How To Make A Vodka Mojito
Vodka Mojito with Flower Power RECIPE
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The Sure Signs of Springtime
The transition of the seasons is always a tease. One day it’s spring and the next, it’s winter again. This can go on for what seems like too long until the days become mostly spring with only little intrusions of a winter past its time. I, however, grew up in a place without seasons.
I remember hot and more hot, and maybe a small respite from the heat that some might call winter, but was actually only a lesser version of hot. No leaves fell in fall, nor snow in winter. We built sandmen instead of snowmen and were blissfully unaware of the seasonal changes happening out in the world.
I do remember strawberry season though. I remember the farm stand not too far from my parents house, tucked in between the fields of fruit, that we used to go to for strawberry shortcake. It was only a short 20 minute drive away, but it seemed just long enough to make it something special.
If there was a spring there, that drive and the strawberry shortcake were its only proof.
Now, I live in a place where spring means wildflowers to pick, gardens bursting into bloom, the return of green things to eat, and elaborate plans of celebration for the sunny and warm days we can spend outside with friends and family.
Some people live for the change of the seasons, but I didn’t know anything different growing up and while I do enjoy them, I’d survive without them. Going back to the place I grew up as an adult, I notice the subtleties of seasons there now.
Four is a stretch, but if you pay close enough attention, you could pick out 3 barely-there seasons. I was just too young and naive at the time to notice.
Foraging for Edible Spring Flowers
This botanical vodka mojito recipe is easily customizable to the spring blooms that are available to you. All edible spring blooms are fair game.
Got dandelions? Make a mojito!
Got violets and cherry blossoms? Make a mojito!
Or maybe you have honeysuckle and borage?! Make a mojito!
While picking flowers may seem like a no-brainer, I think that there are a few important and helpful things to mention.
- Always be sure to collect these from untreated areas. You don’t want to infuse your syrup with pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides.
- When foraging for wild edibles, always make sure you’re 100% confident on the identification. There are many plant species that have look-alikes, some of which can be poisonous. Stick to the plants you know or be sure to consult with a well-versed local forager.
I used dandelions, black locust blossoms, and Japanese honeysuckle flowers in the herbal syrup for this vodka mojito recipe. But as I mentioned, this is a great opportunity to get creative and use the spring flowers you have available to you.
If you’d like to use the same flowers I did, here are some helpful notes:
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
You want just the yellow petals and as little of the green as possible. The more green you have, the more likely your syrup might end up with a slight bitterness. This is a great video on how to easily harvest dandelion petals. It takes a wee bit of practice to get the technique down, but it’s a life skill worth having.
Dandelion flowers are high in antioxidants and are loved by pollinators. Be sure to save some for the bees!
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
The flowers of the black locust are actually the only part of the plant that is edible. The rest of the plant is toxic. It’s easy to clip the drooping clusters of flowers off and use your finger to strip the flowers from the stem as you would strip thyme leaves from its stem. Pop one in your mouth! They taste like a sweet peas with just a wee essence of honey!
The aromatic black locust blossoms are considered to be antispasmodic, diuretic, moisturizing (skin), and very mildly laxative.
Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)
Japanese honesuckle produces potently fragrant white and yellow flowers late spring through early-mid summer. To harvest, you simply pluck the tube-shaped flowers from the stems.
Honeysuckle flowers are commonly used in herbal medicine as an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral, making them so useful in treating the common cold.
Other Edible Spring Flowers to Add to Your Herbal Syrup
If you don’t have dandelion, Japanese honeysuckle, or black locust flowers available to you, there are many other edible spring flowers to try. Here’s a small list to start:
Violet (Viola spp.)
Clover (Trifolium spp.)
Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)
Forsythia (Forsythia spp.)
Cherry blossoms (Prunus spp.)
Roses (Rosa spp.)
Borage (Borago officinalis)
Marigolds (Tagetes spp.)
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Preserving the Season the Herbalist’s Way
I do adore spring. It’s a wildly welcome relief from the bitter bone-aching cold, the layers upon layers upon layers, and the days spent inside longingly staring out the windows. And the thing I love most about it, apart from its golden promise of a summer to come, is the flowers.
Flowers bursting into bloom everywhere. Floral fragrances filling the air day and night. After months of bare and brown, dark and decay, the earth slowly reawakens in one of the most elegant and exquisite, gorgeous and graceful acts of all time. Not even the innocent ignorance of youth could miss it.
How to Make a Quick Herbal Syrup
Botanical syrups are so incredibly easy, flavorful, and versatile that once you make one, you’ll start imagining how everything would taste in a syrup. And the answer is: delicious.
Here’s how to make a simple herbal syrup.
- 1 part hot herbal tea
- 3/4-1 part sweetener
The tea part is where you can get creative and add in all kinds of flavor and plant medicine. You can make a strong tea of any edible/medicinal plant and turn it into a syrup.
The type of sweetener you use is up to you. Organic cane sugar is my preferred sweetener for making botanical syrups as it’s relatively flavor neutral, but honey is great as well.
How to Make a Vodka Mojito with Flower Power
Making a vodka mojito is so easy! It’s practically pour and enjoy!
- Make a flower-infused herbal simple syrup.
- Rim the glass… optional, but extra delightful and let’s be honest, way fancier.
- Muddle together fresh mint leaves and lemons or limes in your rimmed glass.
- Add ice.
- Pour in your flower-infused simple syrup.
- Add in the vodka.
- Top off with sparkling (or soda) water.
- Give the whole thing a wee stir, garnish if desired, and enjoy!
Try These Other Botanical Cocktail Recipes!
For more plant magic & herbal wellness in your life, be sure to follow along on ➡️ Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter, & snag my herbal 📚 eBooks Nourishing Herbal Gifts & Holiday Pies from the (Un)Bakery. 🌿 And please don’t forget to tag me in your snaps 📸 @_botanyculture_. I love to see all the plant magic you make happen!
Vodka Mojito with Flower PowerCourse: DrinksCuisine: Cocktails & MocktailsDifficulty: Easy
(with a Homemade Herbal Syrup)
The taste of spring in a simple cocktail! A classic mojito with lemon and vodka instead of lime and rum, and floral undertones that are just the right amount of sweet and soothing. You can easily make this a refreshing mocktail by substituting more sparkling water for the vodka, a great, less boozy way to use leftover syrup! Perfect for a warm spring afternoon!
- Flower Power Herbal Simple Syrup
1 cup Water
3/4-1 cup fresh Edible Flowers (I used equal parts black locust, dandelion, & Japanese honeysuckle flowers.)
2 slices of Lemon (organic if possible)
3/4 cup Granulated Cane Sugar (organic if possible)
- Minty Sugar Rim (optional)
3 tablespoons Granulated Cane Sugar (organic if possible)
2-3 fresh Mint Leaves, minced
- Vodka Mojito (serves 1)
2-3 fresh Mint Leaves
1 slices Lemon (or Lime)
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Flower Power Herbal Simple Syrup
1.5 ounces Vodka
Sparkling (or Soda) Water
Optional garnish: Fresh Mint Sprigs, slice of Lemon (or Lime)
- To Make the Flower Power Herbal Simple Syrup:
- Prepare your flowers by shaking or brushing off dirt & bugs. If needed, run them under cold water to remove any debris.
- To make the simple syrup the quick method, place water, lemon slices, and flowers into a small sauce pan.
Cover & bring to just a boil. (You don’t really want to boil your flowers. They’re delicate, ya know?!)
Once heated to barely a boil, remove from heat and let sit covered for at least 20 minutes (longer is okay & will result in a stronger flavor).
- Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the flowers & lemon from the tea. Stir in granulated cane sugar until completely dissolved.
Let the syrup cool to room temperature (or chill in refrigerator) before making the mojito. Syrup will keep in a sealed container in fridge for up to 1 month.
- To Make the Vodka Mojito with Flower Power:
- In a mortar & pestle, combine the granulated cane sugar and the minced mint leaves, working it together until thoroughly combined. (You can also pulse together in a small food processor.)
Rub the rim of a high ball glass or mason jar with a wedge of lemon & then dip the rim into the mint & sugar mixture.
Then fill the glass with ice.
- To the rimmed glass, add fresh mint leaves and slice of lemon. Muddle together.
- Add in herbal simple syrup and vodka. Then, top with sparkling or soda water. Give a little stir.
- Garnish with a sprig fresh mint & a twist of lemon. Sit back, sip, & enjoy.
- Other botanical syrup options: cinnamon & rose, lavender, hibiscus & orange, cardamom & grapefruit, lemon & ginger, lemon & chamomile, rosemary… get creative!
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DISCLAIMER: The information given in this article is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before consuming certain herbs & medicinal foods, especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking any prescription medications.