Using Lavender in Your Cocktails & Mocktails
Cultivating a Fresh Beverage Garden
By Jodi Helmer, Author of Growing Your Own Cocktails, Mocktails, Teas, & Infusions
Garden to glass is a trend that is quickly catching on as gardeners (and mixologists) have looked beyond their plates and started incorporating their harvests into cocktails, mocktails, teas, infused waters, lemonades, juices, and other fresh, flavorful drinks. A beverage garden combines two of the things I love most: great drinks and a garden filled with the ingredients to make them.
Here is an excerpt from my new book, Growing Your Own Cocktails, Mocktails, Teas, & Infusions, where you can learn how to use the floral flavors of lavender in your glass including a recipe for lavender simple syrup, lavender mojitos, and a gin-like mocktail.
While you’re here, enter our garden giveaway contest to get a free copy of the Growing Your Own Cocktails, Mocktails, Teas, & Infusions below! Giveaway ends June 15, 2020.
You’ve heard of farm-to-table? Try garden-to-glass!
- Grow your own ingredients for cocktails, mocktails, teas, and infusions, for truly fresh and delightful drinks
- Instructional guide offers advice for planting, maintaining, harvesting, and using each fresh, homegrown ingredient
- 64 plant profiles of the best drink ingredients you can grow yourself, including rhubarb, apple mint, lemon balm, kale, chamomile, beet, ginger, celery, and more
- 24 recipes for cocktails, alcohol-free juices, teas, syrups, shrubs, and infusions to create using the ingredients you’ve grown
- Over 350 photos offer inspiration and guidance, from picking your plants and arranging your garden to mixology and building beautiful drinks in the glass
Lavender is related to both mint and rosemary; the taste is often described as a marriage of those flavors. While the flavor is pleasing to most, some perceive the taste as soapy. With its spicy floral flavor—with hints of mint and lemon—lavender is excellent when paired with chamomile, lemon-flavored herbs, or bergamot, the orange-flavored herb that gives Earl Grey its distinctive flavor.
Lavender is an herbaceous perennial that grows in upright clumps. Long shoots of purple flowers bloom atop narrow gray-green leaves. It’s best suited to full sun and well-drained soil, but it will tolerate poor soil and drought. Keep stems from turning woody by aggressively pruning plants after bloom; thin annually. For a more detailed profile of Lavender, check out page 65 of my Growing Your Own Cocktails, Mocktails, Teas, & Infusions Book.
LAVENDER SIMPLE SYRUP
Heat sugar and water over high heat, stirring constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in the lavender blossoms, remove from heat, cover, and let sit at room temperature for two hours. Strain the blossoms away before use.
• 2 cups (480ml) water
• 2 cups (480ml) granulated sugar
• 1 cup (240ml) fresh lavender blossoms or 1/2 cup (120ml) dried lavender blossoms
Fresh lavender makes this variation a little bit sweeter than the original mojito, but it’s equally refreshing on a hot summer day. Place mint leaves, syrups (only 1/4 ounce [7.5ml] lavender syrup), lime juice, and bitters into the bottom of a shaker. Gently press a few times with a muddler, fill with ice, and add rum. Shake for about thirty seconds. Strain into highball or Collins glass filled with ice, then top with seltzer or club soda. Drizzle remaining 1/2 ounce (15ml) lavender syrup into the mojito. Gently slap the mint sprig before adding it to the glass with the lime wheel or wedge.
A well-made mocktail has all of the taste, elegance, and feel of a real cocktail without the alcohol. For a gin-like mocktail, make a simple syrup of juniper berries (use the lavender simple syrup recipe above and substitute juniper berries), and then combine it with juices and tonics.
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