Borage is one of my favorite plants for the garden. It’s beautiful, the bees love it, and it’s edible. (The leaves and flowers of borage are edible, but I just use the flowers in this post.) If you’ve never had borage before, it tastes like a cucumber. The flavor is more subtle than if you were to just go and bite into a cucumber, but it’s definitely there.
Borage takes the heat just fine, which is good because it’s definitely hot out in my garden these days. And when it’s hot… I love gin. My preference is Hendrick’s Gin, which is infused with cucumber. Sooooo naturally I wanted to make a cocktail with gin and borage. First up: creating a borage simple syrup.
Borage Simple Syrup Ingredients
1 part Borage flower, or more depending on your tastes (see below for notes on preparing flowers)
2 parts water
2 parts granulated sugar
In a saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil until sugar dissolves.
Remove from heat and add borage flowers.
Cover and let steep for one hour.
Strain out borage flowers.
Use immediately or keep in refrigerator.
Preparing Borage Flowers for Simple Syrup
When a borage flower is ready to be harvested you can easily pluck it off its stem with your hands. (I like to wear gloves for this, as mature borage can be quite prickly.) The sepal of the flower (the green star-shape that supports the flower) is prickly but also has a lot of flavor. When harvesting borage flowers for eating I remove the sepal, but since the flowers are just being steeped in this application I keep them on. Either way, I always give the flowers a good rinse after harvesting since tiny ants seem to love them as much as I do.
Now on to the good part: the cocktail!
Fill glass with plenty of ice.
Add 1.5 oz. of gin. (Hendrick’s Gin recommended.)
Pour in 1 oz. of borage simple syrup, trying to coat most of the ice with it.
Top with tonic.
Garnish with borage flowers (sepals removed) and a cucumber wedge.
I also made a gin fizz with some borage simple syrup added. Both cocktails were greatly enjoyed after coming inside to take a break from the heat.