Floral Spring Cocktails, featuring Royal Rose Syrups

Who needs a drink? I know I’ve been enjoying indulging in a little alcohol more often than usual (which is to say, I’ve been having a drink maybe four nights a week instead of rarely), and the weather is saying spring, so I thought I’d share some cocktails (and a mocktail) that I’ve whipped up using the syrups that Royal Rose Syrups* so kindly sent me. They sent me eight of their flavors and I’m focusing on the floral flavors for now because, well, spring. Stay tuned for later on when I share some gorgeous summer cocktails using more of their flavors.

(And note that their spring 20% off sale*, with the code SPRING20, ends today!)

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The Dearest Old Fashioned

This is a riff on an Old Fashioned, using saffron syrup and rosewater. The name is a play on words, both referring to my friend Nazanin of Tea Thoughts, who loves all these flavors, and whose name means dearest in Farsi, and also a reference to the fact that saffron has long been the “dearest” or most expensive spice in the world.

2 oz. bourbon

1 Tbsp. saffron syrup*

1/2-1 tsp. rosewater

Stir with ice and garnish with some dried rosebuds if desired. It’s also lovely topped with some sparkling water to make a less potent beverage. Sip slowly, perhaps while enjoying one of Nazanin’s coloring books.

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The Tudor Rose

This cocktail uses brandy, which always feels old-fashioned to me, and is based on a previous cocktail from a bar I used to frequent named “Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition.” Because I’m not using port or a brandy named after a Spanish cardinal, I’ve decided to name this for the Tudor rose, as it combines the flavors of rose with sparkling wine, orange peel, and brandy, for a luxurious and historical feeling.

1 oz. brandy

1 Tbsp. rose syrup*

Sparkling wine

Strip of orange peel

Stir together the brandy and rose syrup with a little ice until combined and then strain into a cocktail or champagne glass. Top with champagne and twist the orange peel over the top before dropping it in. Sip while contemplating the fragility of your royal dynasty (or perhaps keeping up your official correspondence).

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Milady’s Boudoir

Lavender evokes my vanity, perhaps because it is one of my favorite fragrances, so I’ve named this drink both for the sanctuary of beauty where Milady might perform her toilette, and also for the ladies’ publication from P. G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster stories.

1 Tbsp. lavender lemon syrup*

glass of sparkling wine

lemon peel

Pour the syrup into a champagne flute or coupe and top with champagne. Twist a piece of lemon peel over the top and drop in. Sip as part of a luxurious evening routine.

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The Amiable Friend

This is another inspired by a friend. Rie of Tea Curious has created tea cocktails in the past, but does not drink herself, so I thought I would make my non-alcoholic offering in her honor, featuring some ice-brewed white tea, in honor of her unique brewing experiments, along with jasmine syrup. I only wish I had a fancier glass in which to serve it. This is called “amiable” after the Language of Flowers, which interprets jasmine’s meaning as “amiability.”

4 oz. ice-brewed Silver Needle white tea

1 Tbsp. jasmine syrup*

Sparkling water

Brew your Silver Needle by placing 5g of leaves over 120g of ice in a vessel and allowing it to infuse as the ice melts, over about X hours. Once it has infused, add it to a tall glass with ice, stir in 1 Tbsp. of jasmine syrup, and top with 4 oz. of sparkling water. Enjoy in the afternoons, perhaps while watching one of Rie’s live tea practices on Instagram.

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I hope you enjoyed this foray into floral flavored cocktails for the season, inspired by my friends and historical loves. I’m sure we could all use a nice drink these days, so let me know if you try one!

NB: I am an affiliate of Royal Rose Syrups and purchasing their syrups through my affiliate links provide income to my blog. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. For more information about my affiliate links, click here.

Beauty Review: Herbivore Phoenix Regenerating Facial Oil

…or “Several Hundred Words about a Completely Frivolous and yet Marvelous Skin Care Purchase.”

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Hello, lovelies! It’s Monday and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to talk about this beautiful facial oil, which I love. But I would like to start out this review by admitting that this was a completely frivolous purchase and even though I love it, I will probably not be repurchasing it, as I have a new skin care love (which will get its own review possibly next week). Also, as this isn’t a beauty blog, per se, this will not be a terribly useful review of the product as an anti-aging product.

So. This oil. Look at it. It’s just so beautiful, from the color to the simple-yet-elegant packaging, to the whole experience. I have to say, my favorite thing about it is the scent. It smells absolutely gorgeous. Like a garden boudoir full of flowers, which is absurd because a garden boudoir would not be very private, now would it? Perhaps if you had very tall fences…

But I digress. I bought this facial oil while in the market for something a bit fancier than my standard rose hip seed oil. Something with a bit of scent to it, but without artificial fragrance. Something with a blend of oils. And, because I am a bit silly, something in a beautiful bottle that would grace the top of my vanity with its loveliness.

I had a Sephora account and an embarrassing level of spending in 2016 already, so this was one of the things I bought to push me over the edge once more into premium membership territory. My spending will have to calm down eventually, but last December was not that time. And I did buy my mother Estee Lauder for Christmas, so I’m not entirely selfish.

Anyway, the label appeal of this oil is the blend of exotic oils, including my beloved rose hip oil, with very, very little in the way of filler (the closest to a “filler oil” would be the jojoba that is second on the ingredient list), plus CoQ10 (a rather expensive antioxidant) and some floral essential oils. The scent is a blend of rose and neroli oils, which lends it that sexy floral experience. And because the oils are mostly high-linoleic oils, they absorb quickly and are less likely to exacerbate any breakouts I might be dealing with.

I have to say, I find the experience of this oil lovely. My preferred way of using it was to apply 6-8 drops in the palm of my hand, warm it briefly, and then press and massage it into my skin before applying my night cream. It doesn’t lend itself much to massage, as it does absorb very, very quickly, but it is just a lovely texture. And I did notice that I had a much more pronounced “glow” the next morning after using this than from rose hip oil alone.

My other favorite use for this (and likely the continuing use, as I’ve replaced it in my evening routine) is to apply it before taking the train downtown for my early-morning barre class. Before barre, I like to wash my face, apply vitamin C serum, but then I don’t use sunscreen, as it is still dark outside until after I’ve left the gym. So I apply 3-5 drops to steel my face against the cold. Plus, I tend to tent my hands over my nose before applying it to inhale the beautiful fragrance.

And I suppose that is all that can reasonably be said about this oil. It is lovely, but if you’re not in the market for a splurge, there are other ways to get your oily glow on. But if you are in the market, it is a lovely floral experience.

NB: I purchased this with my own funds and was not provided any incentive to review it, favorably or otherwise.

Florals for Spring

As I sit at my desk at work sipping a mug of jasmine green tea, I inhale the heady floral scent of it. I love florals. I wear floral prints, I love the scent of floral perfume, of floral tea, I decorate with flowers where I can. And now that we’re in the full throes of spring, nature has responded with her own florals.

Floral tea is one of my favorite flavors. I don’t go in very often for flavored tea, save the classic Earl Grey blend, but floral flavored teas will make me forget my preference for unadulterated teas. Green tea with jasmine. Oolong tea with the sweet scent of magnolias. Black tea with roses. The perfume of the flowers mingles with the perfume of the tea itself. My favorite blend is Earl Grey tea with red roses and a splash of rosewater, to supplement the fragrance of the roses. It’s lovely with just a touch of honey or sugar.

I’ve baked flowers into my cookies, cakes, and scones. Rose petals, lavender, and rosewater come together with butter and sugar for a fragrant treat. I received a madeleine pan for my birthday several months ago, and it might be time to bake a floral-scented batch of tiny French cakes.

And of course, it’s the time of year for flowers. I shared the photo above of a rose I got after my matinee this weekend. The theatre company had decided to have roses for all the mothers and far fewer mothers showed up than expected, so I got a rose of my own. It now sits on my breakfast table, brightening up the place, and bringing it’s soft floral beauty into my morning routine. It makes me want to have flowers more often, although there isn’t a very good source of them nearby. Some of the farmer’s markets, though, have great buckets of flowers on occasion, so perhaps I will start haunting the stalls waiting for them to have another lovely addition to my table.

Happy spring, all!