The Blue Garden Cocktail

The Blue Garden - original artwork by the Cocktail Artist
For many years we only planted blue and purple flowers in our garden (with the exception of some of our azaleas). It's so nice to look out at that cool color palette during the heat of the summer. Blues are also a good palette for summer watercolor paintings, and this post includes a few of the blue floral watercolors we have done during the past several summers.

There is no shortage of blue flower paintings done by great masters. Take a look at Irises, Van Gogh, 1889 (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles) and Monet's Water Lilies, 1914 - 1926 (MoMA, New York). In the description of Monet's 3-panel oil painting, the Museum of Modern Art says that Monet was trying to create "the refuge of a peaceful meditation in the center of a flowering aquarium." That's exactly the atmosphere we are looking for on a hot and muggy summer day. Just to be clear, we are in no way comparing our artwork with these masterpieces. It's more about the idea that blue is somehow both calming and refreshing - nice qualities in art and in a cocktail.

Our Blue Garden Cocktail uses two floral liqueurs - St. Germain and Creme de Violette, the later giving the drink it's slightly purple/blue hue. Creme de violette is also used in the classic Aviation Cocktail. After purchasing both Rothman & Winter's Creme de Violette (which has an indigo hue) and a bottle of Creme Yvette (which leans more pink than purple) to get just the right color for our Aviation, we had quite a surplus of this liqueur. Obviously, we are looking for new ways to use it. And yes, we are obsessive enough to purchase two different bottles of the same kind of (rather obscure) liqueur to get the color of a cocktail just right!

St. Germain, the other floral liqueur in this cocktail, is made from elderflowers gathered in the French Alps each spring. It has a wonderful fresh taste and no preservatives, so you shouldn't keep this on the shelf for too long. We've added white cranberry juice and lime to our vodka-based cocktail to balance the sweetness of the floral liqueurs.

We can't claim our cocktail is a great work of art, but we do find it calming and refreshing - especially when sipped in the garden while admiring (or painting) blue flowers. Cheers!

The Blue Garden Cocktail

Blue Garden Cocktail

2 ounces vodka
3/4 ounce St. Germain
1/2 ounce Creme de Violette
3/4 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
1 ounce white cranberry juice

Shake all ingredients with ice cubes in a cocktail shaker and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with an edible flower (such as a purple pansy) or with a sage leaf.

The ingredients for the Blue Garden Cocktail with hydrangea from our garden.
Don't use hydrangea as garnish - it's not an edible flower.

Blue Flower watercolor sketch by the Cocktail Artist

Petunias and the Garden Wall - watercolor by the Cocktail Artist

Blue Pansies - watercolor by the Cocktail Artist

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