Floral flavors — especially in beverages — were one of the biggest trend predictions for 2018, and one that has borne out right on time: just as those April showers bring May flowers.
Like spring crocuses, floral foods are starting to pop up in mainstream consumer products. The flavors you’re most likely to see are lavender, hibiscus and elderflower — each with its own distinct botanical flavor.
These are tiny white flowers that smell like perfume and honey. You probably know them from the liqueur St-Germain. You might also find it in gin, and it’s a flavor that pairs really well with gin cocktails.
Try it in: Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Lemonade
There are a lot of flowers in the hibiscus family, mainly found in tropical and subtropical climates. Hibiscus flowers have been used for tea throughout history in many parts of the world, and they play a role in the cuisine of several cultures, especially in central America. They have a tart, berry flavor.
Try it in: Rishi Hibiscus Berry Tea and Whole Foods’s 365 Tropical Hibiscus Fruit Bars
It’s a divisive flavor, because some people think it tastes like soap. But it’s gained popularity as lattes with lavender syrup have become an unexpected coffee-shop hit.
Try it in: Lavender lattes and lavender honey
Other floral flavors you might encounter include orange blossoms, roses, violets and nasturtiums. Also sprouting in popularity: edible flowers as a decoration on salads and cakes. When you buy edible flowers, make sure they were grown specifically for culinary use — avoid flowers that were sprayed with pesticides or chemicals. Your local farmers market is a great place to start.
Try it in: Whole Foods’s 365 Raspberry Geranium Fruit Bars and Gideon Spring Wildflower Blossom Honey