Lavender isn't just a floral ingredient for cleaning products and body creams. This fragrant flower can be a welcome addition to cocktails.
Lavender keeps making an appearance as a floral favorite in products from face, hand and body creams to shampoos and even cleaning products. However, this delicate little flower is also becoming more and more popular in food and drinks.
Anyone for Lavender Crème Brulee? How about a refreshing, botanical lavender cocktail? Let's stop and smell the lavender as we explore this delectable ingredient.
What is lavender?
Lavender brings to mind fields of light purple flowers billowing in the wind (or lavender-scented cleaning products!) But, what is lavender?
Lavender is a member of the mint family. It is a flowering plant that gives off a sweet floral scent. Some claim its origins are from the Mediterranean; others believe it came from the Middle East or India. Rumors about lavender date back as far as 2,500 years ago.
In ancient times, lavender was regarded as a holy herb and was commonly used to freshen hair and clothing. Although studies suggest it has healing properties, lavender is best known for its scent. A lavender cocktail is something much different.
Lavender cocktail recipes ready for the picking
#1. Sweet Dreams
When it comes to using lavender for an aromatic punch to any cocktail recipe, Sweet Dreams is it! This flowery beverage is all about being refreshing and lively. If you don't have fresh lavender to make the syrup with, see if you can find some lavender gin instead.
- 2 oz of gin
- 0.5 oz of Lillet Blanc
- 0.5 oz of lavender simple syrup (see the instructions below)
- 0.5 oz of lemon juice
- Some Chilled Prosecco, for float.
- A sprig of fresh lavender to garnish
In a cocktail shaker, mix your gin, Lillet Blanc, lavender simple syrup, and lemon juice. Add your ice to the shaker and shake until your mixture is cool. Strain the contents into a cocktail glass, top off with the Prosecco float, garnish, serve and enjoy!
How to make lavender simple syrup:
Making lavender simple syrup is relatively easy. Mix together 1 c. of white sugar, 1 c. of water with 1 tbsp of fresh lavender blossoms. You can also use dried lavender which is available at most health food stores.
In a pot, bring all the ingredients to a boil for around 1 min until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pot from heat, let the contents steep for about 30 mins. Strain the solids from the liquid.
You can store your lavender simple syrup in a refrigerator for up to 1 week. This means you can enjoy a lavender syrup cocktail for a few more days!
#2. Hangover Helper
This drink is a perfect combination of honey's soothing properties, the zest of fresh ginger, the bitterness of mint, and kombucha's refreshing qualities. Lavender bitters provide a botanical undertone.
- 1.5 oz of gin
- Dash of Bar Keep Lavender Bitters
- 0.5 oz of lemon juice
- 0.5 oz of lime juice
- 2 oz of GT's Classic Synergy Mojito Kombucha
- 0.5 oz of honey syrup (2 parts of honey to 1 part of warm water, stir to mix thoroughly)
- 5 fresh mint leaves
- 1 slice of ginger (fresh and peeled)
- Some fresh mint and candied ginger to be used as a garnish
You start by muddling the ginger, mint, and honey syrup in your cocktail shaker in this cocktail recipe. Then add the gin and juices. Shake these ingredients until it is well-chilled. Then add kombucha and the bitters.
Stir this up, still keeping well-chilled contents. Then strain into a glass over ice. You can make perfectly round ice balls to dress up this already pretty drink with an ice ball maker. Garnish with the mint leaves and the candied ginger, serve and enjoy!
#3. The General
The addition of lavender to this drink provides a flowery and botanical taste to the lavender gin cocktail while also giving it a beautiful scent. It's a balanced mix of lavender, gin, and also of lavender and limes.
- 1 oz of dry gin
- 0.5 oz of elderflower liqueur
- 1 oz of Capri Sun Pacific Cooler
- 0.5 house-made sour mix (this is made from equal parts fresh lemon juice, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup)
- 4 dashes of lavender bitters
- Plastic sword pick as a garnish
- 6 - 8 ice cubes
In a cocktail shaker, mix up the ingredients and shake until the contents are well-chilled. Strain the contents into a coupe glass. Garnish and serve. Enjoy your lavender gin cocktail!
#4. Day At The Races
This modern take on a classic Mint Julep uses the peach lavender cordial to provide the floral and fruity flavor. While the lavender is a straight-up addition of a floral flavor to the cocktail, it brings a delicate yet direct taste and aroma of lavender.
- 2 oz of bourbon
- 1 ½ oz of peach lavender cordial (to make, follow the instructions below)
- ½ oz of demerara syrup
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- For a garnish, use lavender flowers, mint sprigs, and orange blossom water
In a cocktail shaker, add the bourbon, half of the mint leaves, and the peach cordial. Add the ice and shake the contents until they are well-chilled. Then to the bottom of a julep glass, add syrup and the other half of the mint leaves.
Add crushed ice to the glass. Strain the shaker's contents to the top of the ice. On the ice, sprinkle a small amount of the lavender flowers. Add a sprig of mint, then spray the orange blossom water (two spritzes should do). Serve and enjoy!
How to make peach lavender cordial:
In a pot, add ½ c of sugar, 1 q of water, ¼ c coriander, 1 c. lavender flowers. You can also use 1 tbsp of dried lavender, which is available at most health food stores, ½ tsp pink salt, and an orange rind.
On low heat, bring this mixture to a simmer. Then add ½ c peach liquor. For 5 minutes, let the alcohol boil out, then remove from the heat. Add the mint and 1 ½ c more of the peach liqueur. Stir well, then let cool. Strain out all of the solids.
#5. April In Paris
This drink is a pleasant and earthy lavender vodka cocktail that will bring out the best of the lavender with some slight bitterness—a perfect cocktail for a warm spring afternoon.
- 2 oz of lavender-infused vodka (follow the instructions below) or use a lavender gin
- 0.5 oz of elderflower liqueur
- 0.5 oz of lemon juice
- 0.5 oz of hibiscus syrup (follow the instructions below)
- 0.25 oz of IPA syrup (follow the instructions below)
- 3 drops of rosewater
- 1 oz of egg white
- For garnish, use fresh flowers
In a cocktail shaker, add vodka, elderflower liqueur, hibiscus syrup, lemon syrup, IPA syrup, and rosewater. Add the ice and shake for about 15 secs. Strain the contents into a new cocktail shaker, add the egg and shake again for 15 secs.
Strain this final mixture into a cocktail glass, garnish with the flower, serve and enjoy!
How to make lavender-infused vodka:
In 1 l of vodka, add 1 tbsp of dried lavender. Set aside (covered) for approximately 3 hours. Make sure to stir now and again. The vodka should turn a lilac color. Strain the liquids back into the bottle, and discard the solids—store liquid in the refrigerator.
How to make hibiscus syrup:
In a saucepan, add 1 c of sugar with 2 c of water. Bring this to a boil and remove it from heat. Add 1 c of dried hibiscus petals and let this steep for about 30 mins, or until it becomes a dark burgundy color.
Strain out the solids at this point and pour the liquids into a bottle—store liquids in the refrigerator.
How to make IPA syrup:
In a saucepan, add 16 oz of IPA beer with 1 c of sugar. Bring contents to a boil and remove it from the heat. Set it aside to cool.
Lavender cocktails - the flower-powerful drink!
A well-made lavender drink infused with lavender simple syrup will be a pleasant surprise if you haven't already discovered the magic of floral-infused cocktails. Drinks like lavender gin are taste sensations, no matter what season you're in!
Like most florals, lavender's scent can be overpowering, so it is best to use it in small doses. A little bit of lavender in your cocktail can go a long way. Too much, and you may ruin the rest of the cocktail's flavors. It should be an accent of flavor rather than a soapy star attraction.
Using lavender in moderation in drinks can pack a powerful flavor punch if you manage to deliver just the right aroma and taste. So, learn how to make lavender syrup, and let the spring-like flavors of lavender create your cocktail today!