Wednesday Food: Sparkling Lavender Meyer
Today’s cocktail is a Bolden original. My sister’s Meyer lemon-infused vodka joins a lavender simple syrup to create a bright, strongly floral afternoon drink. Both fruit and flower were grown on site.
The addition of lavender to food products has become increasingly popular in recent years. Mostly in dessert, we’ve seen it make appearances in honey, ice cream, and cookies. Though its novelty may seem trend-produced, lavender has long been a component of Herbs de Provence, and is used to add floral notes to many dry rubs. But for now, we’ll just add it to our hooch.
Begin the Sparkling Lavender Meyer a few weeks ahead of time by taking a mid-level vodka like Skyy or Ketel 1, or if you’re trying to impress the Gods of Five O’clock somewhere use Tito’s Handmade. Infusion can be as simple as introducing essential oils, in this case the peel of a few Meyer lemons, into a mild vodka, storing it in a sanitized vessel, and walking away.
Make a simple syrup by boiling equal parts sugar and water, and for a lavender addition I add about a tablespoon of the flower per cup. To build the drink add 1 ounce of lavender simple syrup to 2 ounces of infused vodka in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a high ball glass with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with lavender stalks.
The resulting beverage is intensely floral, much like a well-perfumed gin, with the slightly bitter citrus from the lemons. Meyer lemons are special in the way they harmonize the intensity of a lemon with the sweet juice of a mandarin, producing a truly complex piece of fruit. The herbaceous aromatics hum above the lemony bite, to the point where you can hear the hovering bees in the arid, warm climate of the lavender, from anywhere you sip this cocktail.
In other news, don’t bring nice Riedel glasses onto bricked patios. Especially if you come from my highly accident-prone bloodline. All stemware from here on will be limited to the Mason/ Ball family.
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