Every spring in Vancouver, a natural phenomenon takes place that brings the city out of its grey and rainy gloom. The annual blooming of cherry blossoms across the city, or sakura in Japanese, is a tell-tale sign that ‘Raincouver’ weather is starting to change and summer is just around the corner. The beautiful blooms are a way more striking (and err, accurate) sign of the season than a groundhog, if you ask me!
Cherry blossoms have inspired many a work of art over the centuries thanks to their transient nature and stunning beauty, and are strongly symbolic in Japanese culture where they’re often depicted in art, film and music. As a ‘cocktail artist’ of sorts, I look forward to this time of year as an opportunity to create new floral-infused libations for your drinking enjoyment.
Here are two of my newest cherry blossom-inspired creations to help you usher in spring:
This cocktail is named after the famous Nitobe Memorial Garden at the University of British Columbia. A balance of lush green and spectacular pink, this cocktail is unbelievably rich in texture, yet light and refreshing. The aroma itself will transport you across the ocean to the tranquil and romantic forests of Japan.
*Tealeaves Cherry Blossom Green Tea Syrup
Combine boiling water with turbinado sugar and cherry blossom green tea. Stir until sugar dissolves. Let cool for 4 hours and strain ingredients. Bottle remaining syrup and keep refrigerated.
*Tencha Matcha High Energy Paste
Add matcha powder to a bowl and slowly add water while whisking into a paste. Continue until all the powder has dissolved. Place remaining paste in a squeeze bottle and keep refrigerated.
This is a light and refreshing cocktail inspired by my favourite spring drink, the Tom Collins. This concoction highlights the renowned Central City Brewing Company‘s amazing single malt gin (made in Surrey, B.C.), and is infused with a delightful cherry blossom essence thanks to Tealeaves’ Cherry Blossom Green Tea.
If you have any questions or feedback on the cocktails above, come and say hello at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar where they’re served exclusively on the menu throughout the spring season.