Cocktail of the Month: Lavender Lemondrop
May flowers are blooming everywhere, and this month’s cocktail is a floral surprise! While visiting Portland last spring, I took my coworkers to a little place I had found years before while in town for my friend Bobbi’s wedding. It’s called Veritable Quandary and it’s downtown by the waterfront. If you’re ever in Portland, I highly recommend it.
Anyway, that day they had a lavender lemondrop on special in the bar. I was intrigued and, after one sip of this libation, I was in heaven. I asked the bartender where they found lavender vodka and she said they infuse their own. She gave me the technique, which I will now share with you, combined with my standard lemondrop. Yes, it’s a bit more labor intensive than throwing together a rum and cola, but believe me, the flavors are amazing together!
- 4 oz. lavender vodka (see notes below)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 oz. sugar syrup (see notes below)
- 1 oz. orange liqueur such as Grand Mariner
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Measure the ingredients into the shaker, cover and shake for at least 30 seconds until very cold. Strain into 2 martini glasses with a sugared rim (if desired) and garnish with a thin slice of lemon.
– To infuse the vodka, purchase a fifth (750 ml) of the most inexpensive vodka you can find. Pour the vodka into a lidded, quart-sized pitcher (or any container large enough that has a lid). Place 2 heaping tablespoons of food-grade lavender into a square of cheese cloth and tie with kitchen twine. Place the lavender packet into the vodka, cover and let it sit in the refrigerator at least 10 to 14 days before using.
– Use only food-grade lavender. In other words, do not rip open the drawer sachet your mom gave you! I found lavender online from The Spice House at www.thespicehouse.com for $3.49 for a 1 oz. bag. It’s enough for at least 5 bottles of vodka, but lavender can also be used for cookies and ice cream (my next project!).
– To make sugar syrup (also called simple syrup), combine equal parts white sugar and water in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, just until the sugar completely dissolves. Cool. (I usually use ½ c. increments.) This takes just a few minutes. The syrup may be stored in a covered container for weeks in the refrigerator. Sugar syrup is great for sweetening cold drinks in the summer such as lemonade or iced tea because the sugar is already dissolved.
– To rim the glasses with sugar, pour a small amount of white sugar (superfine if you can find it) on a plate large enough to fit the rim of the glass. Rub the rim of the glass with a wedge of citrus fruit and then dip in the sugar.
Enjoy a flower-filled May!