Daffodils And Drinks

I went walking among the daffodils several days ago. Our city has a downtown garden that is in full bloom with swaths of daffodils planted throughout the park. It was a wonderful walk; fresh air, sunshine and glorious yellow daffodils everywhere. 

I finished off my walk with a delicious tea mocktail. Tea can be used as a base in a myriad of mocktail recipes. 

Spring Has Sprung 

The weather was wonderfully warm, and very little wind was stirring in the trees. I made a dash to the city park to enjoy some much needed springtime fresh air. After ice storms, snow storms, below freezing temperatures, hail and a deluge of rain, I was going walking. I grabbed a hat, suntan lotion and headed towards the park. 

The city park was packed. People were out in throngs enjoying the fantastic weather. Children were riding bicycles, pets were being walked, people were strolling arm in arm. It appeared to me that the entire city was emerging from a long hibernation and enjoying the pretty spring day. 

The birds were heralding in Spring with their chirps and songs. The grass was turning a bright emerald green. The trees were budding and little green leaves were creating a softening of the tree branches. Oh, and there were…… 

Daffodils 

….Daffodils everywhere! Daffodils with bright yellow petals and centers. Daffodils with pale peach centers and yellow petals. Daffodils with cream petals and pale peach centers. Daffodils, daffodils, and more daffodils! 

It was a sight to behold. The little yellow bursts of flowers on green stems were in mass plantings throughout the park. They were so cheerful looking. They have a little shimmer to the petals if one looks close enough. It is the palest of shimmer, the light has to catch the petals just so, in order to see the shimmer. I was in flower paradise. After the long, cold, miserable winter that our city experienced; it was a marvelous day to walk among the daffodils. 

The perennial daffodil is in the genus “Narcissus” and in the amaryllis family, called the “Amaryllidaceae”. The flower is frequently called by one of several common names; daffodil, narcissus, jonquil. These names represent different types of daffodils. The flower comes up every spring to brighten the hills, walk ways, woods, and gardens that they have been planted in. It is best to plant the bulbs in the autumn to ensure springtime blooms. The bulbs do not need to be dug up in the spring after the blooms have faded. These plants optimally should be left in the ground for next year’s springtime burst of color. 

Drinks

I walked for over an hour in the sunshine and among the daffodils. I was nearing where I had parked my car and was extremely thirsty, and a bit dehydrated. A hotel bar, with outdoor seating, looked inviting, and enticing. I decided to stop at the bar to inquire about a mocktail. To my surprise, the bartender informed me that there were several mocktails on the drinks list. I chose a sweet concoction consisting of rose syrup, fresh strawberries, lemon juice, and club soda. I had the bartender cut the club soda in half, and add black iced tea into the drink. What was presented to me was a refreshing, strawberry and black tea drink. All that was missing were cucumber sandwiches, to complete the afternoon post-walk respite. 

The beautiful day, the enchanting daffodils, and the delicious drink inspired me to try my hand at making my own mocktail. Items that I had on hand included: tea, a simple lavender syrup, lemons, ginger ale, elderberry syrup, blueberries, and black berries. Below are two drink recipes that I concocted. 

Sunshine Green Mocktail 
1 cup Sencha green tea, steeped and cooled 
⅛ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed 
¼ cup ginger ale 
1 ½ tablespoons lavender simple syrup 
Lemon slice to garnish 

Mix all ingredients together in a shaker. Pour over ice. Add a lemon slice for garnish. I used Sencha green tea for this recipe. I would also recommend a Lung Ching green tea. Utilizing a Pai Mu Tan white tea would be another tea that could be interchanged in this recipe. 

Berry Delicious Mocktail 

1 cup Rose Congou black tea, steeped and cooled 
1 teaspoon elderberry syrup 
3 blueberries, muddled 
2 blackberries, for garnish 
Muddle the blueberries into the black tea. Add the elderberry syrup. Pour into a shaker and mix. Pour over ice. Add the blackberries for garnish. 
I used a black tea with rose petals for the base of this drink. I would also recommend a black tea from the Nilgiri region of India, or a black tea from Sri Lanka. 

Additions 

Fresh mint, cucumber slices, or berries frozen in ice cubes, would all be nice additions to the mocktails. Edible flowers would be a beautiful accompaniment floating in the drink, or placed next to the glass, on a serving tray. I am not a bartender, and would not be able to recommend liquor that would complement the mocktails. However, I can recommend cucumber sandwiches, plain scones with jam and clotted cream, or thinly iced sugar cookies be served alongside the mocktail, for an afternoon tea time treat! 

Have fun experimenting with tea and making spring time mocktails! 

Leslie

 

About the Author

Leslie Sundberg is a World Tea Academy Certified Tea Specialist, a World Tea Academy Apprentice Tea Sommelier, a Specialty Tea Institute Level IV trained Tea Specialist, and a Tea and Business Etiquette Specialist. On any given day, Leslie can be found teaching, speaking or sharing in the joys of a cup of tea.  No matter what Leslie is doing or where she is, one thing remains constant: 4:00 in the afternoon is tea time!



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