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From our Founder

The Story of Blossom Water

The idea of infusing water with flower botanicals first struck me while I was planting perennials at our home in the beautiful Berkshires.  For as long as I can remember, I have always been planting something – vegetables, herbs, flowers, shrubs – usually all four, crammed into each short New England season.

I’m not sure what fostered this strong connection to the soil. Maybe it’s my Italian heritage, as I recall visiting both my grandfathers when very young, and watching them lovingly devote the bulk of their summer time and energy to this same end. My wife sometimes jokes that the only reason we bought the Lenox house, an 1815 Federal, was so that I could play in the cottage gardens.

Its Concept is Validated

So we began researching the use of flower botanicals in beverages and gradually uncovered a treasure trove of information. We saw that the first mentions of rose water, using distillation of rose petals, date back to 9th century Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian sources. In these cultures, rose water is even thought to bring healing properties. It is strongly ensconced in their cuisines, all of which highly prize aromatics. For instance, rose water is combined with milk and sugar to make a sweet concoction called bandung, and mixed into lemonade to balance the tartness with rose’s subtle taste and fragrance.

This same part of the world has also long enjoyed orange blossom water, often served cold over ice or hot as a digestif called café blanc. Lebanese “white coffee” is nothing more than sweet-scented orange blossom water stirred into a cup of boiling water, sometimes with the addition of sugar or honey.

We further learned that, in the East, jasmine tea has been around for at least a thousand years. First produced in China, jasmine flowers and green tea leaves are “mated” for several hours. The magic happens when the moist flowers pass their oils and scent to the dry leaves by osmosis, resulting in a thirst-quenching tea softly suffused with jasmine.

We learned that across Africa, Asia and Latin America, hibiscus has been consumed as a beverage for hundreds of years. In Northern Africa, for instance, weddings and other special events are toasted with a glass of karkade, hibiscus calyces steeped in water and sweetened with honey. Throughout Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, where hibiscus is often called Jamaica, agua de flor de Jamaica is relished as a refreshingly crisp drink to help beat the heat. Among Northern and Central European countries, we came across several descriptions of seltzers, liqueurs and wines made with flowers such as lilac, lavender and elderflower. The list goes on.