Get Ready for Spring With Rose Liqueur Cocktails

Made from genuine rose petals, this liqueur imparts a vivid floral scent and flavor that’s balanced—not aggressive.

Rose Liqueur
Photo: Carey Jones

In the world of cocktails, you’ve got bitter drinks and sweeter ones, fruity drinks and herbal ones. Slightly less common are floral cocktails — but those who love these aromatic drinks, tend to love them with devotion.

Nonalcoholic rosewater can add a rosy scent and flavor to a cocktail, but it’s super-concentrated stuff; even one extra drop can overwhelm a drink, and leave it smelling more like your grandmother’s hand lotion than anything enticing. So we’re happy to find an alternative: A rose liqueur from respected brand Combier. Made from genuine rose petals (from the Loire Valley, no less), it imparts a vivid floral scent and flavor that’s still balanced, rather than aggressive. It’s simple to work into cocktails and gives you a faint pink hue, to boot. Here are three excellent drinks to try it in.

Easy: Sparkling Rose

Sparkling Rose
Carey Jones

Not sparkling rosé, the wine, mind you — just some sparkling wine scented with rose liqueur. If you’ve ever tried St-Germain and Champagne, you’ll understand how well floral flavors work with bright, effervescent bubbles. A no-brainer brunch drink that takes just seconds to make.

Instructions: In a flute, combine one ounce rose liqueur and 4 ounces sparkling wine. Garnish with a long, skinny lemon peel, as long and skinny as you can make it.

Intermediate: Rose Martini

Rose Martini
Carey Jones

We abhor the trend of calling every drink served up, in this manner, a “martini.” But here, we really are working rose liqueur into a genuine martini — that’s gin and vermouth, please — giving it a faint sweetness and light floral scent. For serious martini fans only.

Instructions: In a mixing glass with ice, stir together 1-1/2 ounces gin, 1/2 ounce dry vermouth, and 1 ounce rose liqueur until very well-chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a large lemon twist.

Advanced: Blooming Rose

Blooming Rose
Carey Jones

Our message whenever egg whites appear in a cocktail recipe: Fear not! They aren’t intended to make a drink taste eggy, but rather to add a silky, luxurious texture. The technique works particularly well with subtle, delicate flavors, like this rose liqueur. Using vodka stiffens up the cocktail without tamping down the liqueur’s lovely floral notes.

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker without ice, combine an ounce of vodka, an ounce of rose liqueur, an ounce of fresh lemon juice, and 1/2 ounce simple syrup. Add one egg white. Shake all that up without ice to aerate it — that’s called a “dry shake” — and then add ice and shake again for a “wet shake,” to chill it down. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice, and dash some Angostura bitters atop the foam to decorate.

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