Wednesday, May 31, 2023

What's a Cocktail Riddle That Stirs Up Spring, Cinema, Herbs, & Flowers?

What does a pun, a cocktail, and military personnel have in common?? More than you might imagine.

All about this springtime riddle will be revealed here…

As we turn the page on May, the glorious month of spring flowers, sweet holidays, especially Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, I wanted to highlight a fabulous drink from my Art of the Garnish book, that the mixologist creator who is a London bartender, hailed as the drink that epitomizes May in England.

And given its splendidly dramatic moniker, Full Nettle Jacket, I think it’s a perfectly refreshing way to give honor to our service heroes with a nod to the film, Full Metal Jacket ~ the inspiring, irresistible pun that christened this special cocktail.

How’s that go? Like this:

Calum O’Flynn, who worked the bar at The Botanist at Sloane Square, London, when I invited him to be a featured guest mixologist for the Art of the Garnish book, sent me a delightful email explaining the drink that we just had to adapt into the cocktail’s head notes.

Calum noted, “This drink epitomises the British spring for me.”

He added “We merge seasons at this time of year more than others. The Pisco brings summer vibes, St Germain and cucumber are delicate spring time flavours, and the nettle and lemon help stave off the inevitable days of winter’s showers we will get. The original name was Peruvian Spring, which is a perfect description for the drink, however, Will from Imported Brands UK gave me a pun that I couldn't resist putting in a menu.”

Don’t you just adore a cocktail with a great back story? 

Who could resist that pun?! Full Nettle Jacket meets Full Metal Jacket.  Cheers to that. (nettle plant)      

The Full Nettle Jacket cocktail is so right for stirring up now as a way to make a tidy nod to our beloved war dead that we especially honored this Memorial weekend.

And to the award-winning film that lent its name to this refreshing drink. (How much do we admire the fascinating filmmaker and director Stanley Kubrick?)

It’s said that the classic Stanley Kubrick film, Full Metal Jacket, is so successful because “it appeals to both veterans and anti-war opponents because it acknowledges the contradictions of war and military service.” (quote from Tilt Magazine).
That’s good enough to celebrate our quest for peace as well as the dedicated devotion to our military personnel, veterans, and those who so bravely died for our freedoms.

Recipe for Full Nettle Jacket:


Place all of the ingredients in a glass highball glass or goblet, add crushed ice, and stir until combined.

Top with additional crushed ice. (I told you this was super refreshing!)

Garnish/Finishing Touches:

Garnish with a long cucumber twist that winds throughout the glass and lemon twist on top.

Add pansies or begonias ~ or whatever pretty, edible, fresh blooms you are growing or see at the farmers market.
I suggest you also can garnish with the adorable, little cucamelons. You can spear them or cut them to perch on the glass rim.

These cutie mini-cucumbers are the size of grapes and also good in savory cocktails, including Bloody Marys. And soooo easy to grow.

Here’s how the page looks in the Art of the Garnish book. Please enjoy this delicious cocktail.

To make the nettle cordial: 

Place 4 cups of water, 11/2 ounce nettles, and 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice (citric acid) in a saucepan and boil until the mixture has reduced by half. Strain, add sugar in a 2:1 ration to the resulting liquid, and stir until dissolved.

For cucumber syrup:

Peel, chop and mash a cucumber and place it in a large mason jar. Top with 3 cups simple syrup and let stand for up to 24 or 36 hours. Strain, stir in 1 oz. white rum, and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

I humbly raise my glass to a glorious, glamorous spring drink. 

To the spring season of hope and rebirth…

And to our honored men and women who have served our country with their lives to preserve our freedoms. 



  1. My hats off to those who know how to make and discover these mixtures. Suggestions are always welcome. Thanks again.

    1. It's really spectacular, isn't it?! I love a cocktail that tells a good story And tastes delicious. So much fun. Cheers!

  2. It all sounds so inviting to try. Really like all the ingredients. Thanks again.

    1. You will just love this cocktail ~ all the ingredients are so fresh ~ truly a "garden-to-glass" drink that will make your Happy Hour even happier. Try it! Do let me know how you make out shaking up this cocktail. Cheers!