After working in the garden much of the day yesterday, I made Wild Daylily Gin & Tonics to celebrate the first day of summer. Here’s to summer!
Wild Daylily Gin & Tonics
The blooms in these summery cocktails are edible and are meant to be eaten. They taste like cucumbers and are easiest to eat starting from the stem end.
Hemerocallis fulva Blooms (See note below.)
(1) Pick fresh Hemerocallis fulva blooms. Remove and discard the pollen covered tips from the stamens. Gently wash blooms in cold water.
(2) For each G&T, fill a tall tumbler about 3/4 full of ice. Add lemon slices. Fill about 1/3 of the way with gin then top off with tonic. Gently stir. Place a daylily in the top. Enjoy!
Note: Do not eat true lilies or use them as garnishes. True lilies – plants in the lillium family (e.g. Easter Lilies, Asiatic Lilies, Oriental Lilies, etc.) – are poisonous. Daylilies are not true lilies. Ones of the wild variety are edible, though occasionally someone is allergic to them. Hemerocallis fulva – wild daylilies – are the only daylilies recommended for eating because, given the many different hybridized cultivars out there, it is possible that some one or another could make a person sick. Wild daylilies, the tall orange ones that are often seen growing wild along the side of country roads, are edible. I grow them in my garden and use the blooms to garnish beverages and salads. I haven’t tried eating the tubers, but I have read in several places that sauteed wild daylily tubers are quite tasty.
There are a number of articles available on cooking with daylilies. Here are a few links: