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922 South Morton Street
Bloomington, IN, 47403
United States


Cardinal Spirits is a craft distillery in Bloomington, Indiana that specializes in producing extraordinary spirits from local ingredients.  

The Drop

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Filtering by Tag: cardinal spirits flora

Grand Finale Recipe

Erica Sagon


Say hello to your new favorite nightcap. This warm drink is so soothing, and the delightful floral notes of our Flora liqueur really sing in chamomile tea. An ideal companion for addressing holiday cards…


By Chris Resnick, bartender at Cardinal Spirits in Bloomington

8 ounces warm chamomile tea

1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Flora

Lemon wheel, for garnish

Brew the tea according to package directions. Combine Flora and the warm tea in a mug, then garnish with a lemon wheel.

La Befana cocktail recipe

Erica Sagon

We have Santa Claus. Italians have La Befana, a witchy-looking old woman with a big heart who visits homes on the night of Jan. 5 to fill children's shoes with candy and small gifts (or coal, if they've been little monsters).

This light, fizzy cocktail recipe is an ode to her holiday spirit — you make it by infusing our Flora with a bit of saffron, then combining the infused Flora with sparkling lemon soda. It feels festive and special — give this little toast when you drink it:

La Befana vien di notte
Con le scarpe tutte rotte
Col vestito alla romana
Viva, Viva La Befana!


(The Befana comes by night
With her shoes all tattered and torn
She comes dressed in the Roman way
Long live the Befana!)



By Alex Utter of Cardinal Spirits

Makes 1 cocktail

1.5 ounces Songbird Flora infused with saffron (instructions follow)
San Pellegrino Limonata (sparkling lemon soda), to tasteLemon wheel, for garnish

Fill a Collins glass with ice, then add Flora. Fill the rest of the way with Limonata, then garnish with a lemon wheel.

To infuse Songbird Flora with saffron: Add a pinch or two of saffron threads to a bottle of Flora and let sit for 2-3 days. Adjust amount of saffron as you see fit, but it shouldn't take much! The color of the Flora should take on a yellowish-orange tint. Strain out the saffron using a coffee filter or fine mesh strainer before using.

Peach, Please cocktail recipe

Erica Sagon

Grab some peaches and mint from the farmers' market this weekend and make Peach, Please — a lovely cocktail by our bartender Alyvia Cain. 



By Alyvia Cain of Cardinal Spirits

2 oz Cardinal Spirits Barley McBarleyface unaged single malt
1/2 oz Cardinal Spirits Flora
1/2 oz orgeat
3/4 oz lemon juice
Chopped peach
Fresh mint, for garnish

Muddle peach, mint, Flora and orgeat in shaker. Add Barley McBarleyface and lemon juice to the shaker, then and ice. Shake well and double strain over ice in large rocks glass. Garnish with mint.


Erica Sagon

Our Standard Dry Gin and our Songbird Flora Liqueur make the perfect pair, and here they're shaken together into a lush cocktail with a light and lofty cap. This heavenly drink is aptly named Cloud 9, created by Cardinal Spirits bartender Stella Snyde.


By Stella Snyder of Cardinal Spirits

1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Standard Dry Gin
1/2 ounce Cardinal Spirits Flora Liqueur
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 egg white
3-4 dashes lavender bitters

Add all ingredients to a shaker without ice and shake vigorously, to emulsify the egg white. Then, add ice to the shaker and shake again, this time to chill and dilute the cocktail. Strain into a coupe glass. 


Erica Sagon

At the heart of this cocktail is our Vodka and our Songbird Flora, a nectar-like liqueur that we make with elderflower, hibiscus, jasmine and raspberries. You need Flora. You want Flora. You can't make this drink without Flora. Add a little lime and club soda to keep this drink bright and bubbly. 


Makes 1 cocktail

By Jake Cifuentes of Cardinal Spirits

1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Vodka
1 ounce Cardinal Spirits Flora
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
Club soda

Add all ingredients except club soda to a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass with ice, then top with club soda and garnish with a lime wedge.


Erica Sagon

So, there we were, thumbing through Instagram, when we came across this:

Those pretty little French macarons are flavored with our Songbird Flora, a lovely liqueur that we make with fresh raspberries, elderflower, jasmine, and hibiscus. We knew that Flora made delicious cocktails, but we hadn't thought to use it in a dessert, let alone macarons. 

Holy moly, best idea ever. We had to know more from @ashleyem. So we got in touch. How did the Flora macarons taste? And would she share her recipe?


From Ashley:

We were having friends over for a dinner party, and I wanted to end the meal with something extra special. Since they are also huge fans of Flora, I knew they'd love these!

These macarons really showcase the flavors of Flora. They have a nice, light floral flavor to them. Using the Flora, I think, adds some fun dimensions to the naturally sugary macaron cookie — the floral notes from the sweet elderflower and tangy hibiscus work really nicely with the sweet raspberry.

This macaron recipe is modified from Brave Tart’s recipe (which is accompanied by very useful tips and detailed instructions!). I flavored the macaron cookies with Flora, and then I filled them with a buttercream featuring Flora alongside rhubarb bitters. It’s best to prepare these cookies in advance so they have a day to sit in the fridge.

Cardinal Flora Macarons

Recipe by Ashley Palmer; macaron recipe adapted from Brave Tart

5 ounces egg whites  
2 ½ ounces sugar
1 vanilla bean (split and scraped; you can save the pod for another project)
¼ teaspoon salt
4 ounces almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
8 ounces powdered sugar
1 tablespoon Cardinal Spirits Flora liqueur
pink food coloring

1 stick salted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk  
2 tablespoons Cardinal Spirits Flora liqueur
1 tablespoon rhubarb bitters (I use Fee Brothers)
pink food coloring

2-3 cookie sheets (depending on size)
Parchment paper
Circle cookie cutter for tracing (1 ½-inch diameter)
2 large pastry bags (18-inch) with a wide, round tip (I use Wilton’s #12 tip)
Stand mixer with both whisk and paddle attachments
Kitchen scale (for measuring macaron ingredients)
Spatula (for mixing macaron batter)



These are all things you can do a day or so before you start baking, if desired. 

1. Draw (1 ½-inch) circles onto parchment paper, and place pencil-side down on cookie sheets. You can draw circles on 1 sheet and, using it as a template, tuck it underneath new sheets of parchment paper to pipe your cookies. This way you can save it and reuse it for future projects.

2. Fit a large (18-inch) pastry bag with a tip.



1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

2. Combine the almond flour and the powdered sugar; whisk together. 

3. Put the egg whites in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Begin mixing on medium speed (4 on a Kitchen-Aid). As they begin to froth, add the sugar, salt, and vanilla bean. After 3 minutes on medium speed, raise the speed to medium-high (7 on a Kitchen-Aid) for 3 minutes and then a little higher (8 on a Kitchen-Aid) for 3 more minutes. 

4. At this point, your meringue should be almost ready. Add the Flora and pink food coloring (for a light pink tint). Then, whip on the very high speed  (9 or 10 on a Kitchen-Aid) for a final minute. The goal here is to build a fluffy meringue that you will then incorporate into the dry ingredients in the next step. 

5. Pour half of the almond flour/sugar mixture into the meringue. Gently fold it into the meringue with your spatula, making a light circular motion around the bowl. You don’t want to deflate or over-handle your meringue just yet—the goal here is to incorporate the dry ingredients into the meringue before adding more. 

6. Add the remainder of the almond flour/sugar mixture. Fold in using the same gentle circles you used in the previous step until mostly incorporated. Then, begin pressing the mixture against the side of the bowl as you fold (if you think of the mixing bowl as a clock, press the spatula against the bowl when you get to the 3-6 range). This step will largely determine the shape your macarons make when they bake (whether they rise a bit and get feet or stay too tall, etc.). You want to be sure not to over- or under-mix the batter. After about 15 strokes, lift the spatula out of the batter and watch it drizzle back into the bowl: you want it to achieve a lava-like texture where it drips like a ribbon back into the bowl and reincorporates into the batter within a few seconds. Some people compare the desired consistency at this step as lava-like. If it doesn’t drip off the spatula, the batter is still too thick and will not form nice flat cookies (it needs more folding/pressing); if it drips off the spatula like liquid, it will be over-mixed and not form nice cookies when you pipe. If you’re nervous about this step, Brave Tart has great directions about how to successfully do this!

7. Once your batter is ready, pour it into the mixing bag. 

8. Pipe your batter onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets. Try to stay within the lines you’ve drawn, as the batter will spread a bit once it sits. If you do notice points at the top of your piped macs, you can lightly dip your finger in water and press down. Rap your cookie sheets on the counter once or twice to eliminate air bubbles.

9. Allow macarons to sit on the counter for the tops to form little shells. When they dry out enough that you can touch the tops without getting batter on your fingers, place the first sheet in the oven. Depending on the humidity that day, drying times may vary.

10. Bake macarons for 16-18 minutes at 300 degrees, turning once halfway through. The macarons are definitely ready when you can gently lift one off the parchment. Allow to cool on cookie racks. As they cool, you can prepare the buttercream.



1. If you’re using a Kitchen-Aid mixer, switch to the paddle attachment for the frosting. Put the butter, vanilla, milk, Flora, and rhubarb bitters in the mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly, add the remaining sugar, continuing to beat until icing is the desired texture. Add food coloring to achieve desired hue.

2. Place in the second pastry bag to fill the cooled macarons.



1. If your piping skills are anything like mine, you may need to arrange your individual macaron cookies by size. Wait until they have cooled, and then pair like-sized macarons together. Designate the prettier macaron to be the top and use any less-perfect macs for the bottom of the sandwich. If I have any macarons that have cracked or otherwise disappointed, I like to pair them together and use them for sampling! 

2. Pipe a dollop of buttercream onto the bottom cookies. Place the top cookie over the buttercream and press down a bit. You might want to try a sample one before filling them all to gauge the right amount of frosting for your taste.

3. Place macarons in a tupperware. You can stack them between layers of parchment. Refrigerate overnight. The flavors and textures will be at their best after congealing in the fridge overnight-- these are great next-day desserts. 

4. Enjoy with a Flora Spritzer! (Pour 2 ounces of Cardinal Spirits Flora into a tall glass with ice. Top with club soda, then squeeze in juice from a big lemon wedge.) 

Summer of Love punch recipe

Erica Sagon

It's Punch + Pitcher week on The Drop.
Every day, we'll share a recipe for a drink to make for a crowd this July 4 weekend.


Our first recipe for Punch + Pitcher Week comes from Cardinal bartender Andrew Wind, who created an incredible punch around Flora, our newest liqueur. Flora is part of our Songbird series of low-proof spirits that are made with botanicals — Flora has hibiscus, elderflower, jasmine and fresh raspberries.

Andrew's punch combines Flora with fresh citrus juices and a little fizz for the perfect daytime drink. We'll timestamp this one at about 1:15pm Saturday. And, can we talk about how pretty it is? A beautiful blush hue, dressed up with some nasturtiums from the garden.  


Serves 4

9 ounces Cardinal Spirits Flora liqueur
6 ounces fresh orange juice (about 2.5 oranges)
3 ounces fresh grapefruit juice (about 1/2 of a grapefruit)
6 dashes Angostura bitters
4 ounces club soda
Leftover citrus, for garnish
Edible flowers like nasturtium or orchids, for garnish

  1. Combine Flora, orange juice, grapefruit juice and bitters in a pitcher with ice. Stir for 15 seconds.
  2. Strain off ice, then top with 4 ounces club soda.
  3. Garnish with citrus and edible flowers.