Create your own cocktail with the use of homemade bitters – perfect for a summer garden party or bridal party.
1 cup high-proof vodka, 42 to 45 proof or 84 to 90% alcohol (TIP: Gin can also be used, but keep in mind that it will impart a more botanical flavor.)
1/2cup fresh orange blossoms (TIP: You can also try dandelions, violets, lavender, geraniums, dried rose or elderflowers.)
1/2 cup orange blossom honey
2 mandarin oranges, peeled and broken apart into sections
2 bottles chilled Crémant de Loire wine (TIP: Other sparkling wines will work such as Champagne,
Crémants from other parts of France, Cava or Prosecco. Rosé Champagne will add more fruity notes and a bit of pink color.)
16 fresh edible flowers such as orange blossoms, violas or nasturtiums, or 1/4 cup dried flowers such as rose petals, lavender or chamomile
Prepare infusion: In a 16-oz glass jar, blend vodka and orange blossoms and seal with a lid; let infuse for 2 to 3 days.
Make honey syrup: In a small pot, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add honey and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat to cool.
To complete your cordial: Use a small mesh sieve to strain the vodka into a small bottle or jar; discard infused orange blossoms. Mix with honey syrup. Allow orange blossom honey cordial to cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour. (NOTE: You can store this infusion in the fridge for up to 4 weeks, so if you have extra blossoms, make a double or triple batch to have on hand for future cocktails.)
Assemble cocktails: Place mandarins in a shaker, large glass or jar. Add 1 cup of the Orange Blossom Honey Cordial and muddle with the back of a wooden spoon until mandarins release their juices. Add 2 cups ice and stir or shake. Strain into champagne flutes or coupe glasses. Top with Crémant and garnish with an edible flower.
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