I promised recipes using the large amount of dried lavender I acquired, so this is my first.
It is a classic gin martini spiked with some delightful simple syrup infused with lots of lavender. The simple syrup recipe is below the cocktail recipe.
I am a fan of martinis, though for many years I eschewed the glory that is a classic gin martini. I was caught up in the “Dry vodka martini, shaken, not stirred” lie. I went for a number of years with a predilection for dirty martinis, with copious amounts of olive juice. But in the last few years, I had several martinis made correctly, by people that new what they were doing, and it completely changed my outlook.
Two hints with a gin martini. First, use good gin. It seems like a no-brainer, but with gin you get what you pay for. Anybody can distill fermented grain to get vodka, but the infusions of herbs and flowers that make up the flavors of gin are an art form. For a martini, I like Bombay Sapphire, for a non-martini gin cocktail I like Hendricks. These both seem to work well with the lavender. Second, do not be afraid of vermouth. The people that just “set an open bottle of vermouth next to the gin, and that’s all I need” miss out on some delightfully complex, floral, and sweet notes brought in by the vermouth. For vermouth, I generally stick with the classic Martini brand, though it is common to not have much of a selection. If you are in the States with a nice liquor store, there are a fairly large number of varieties, though I won’t comment on them since I haven’t actually tried that many.
- 2 Jiggers Gin
- 1 Jigger Dry Vermouth
- 1/2 Jigger Lavender Simple Syrup
Pack a cocktail glass with ice and let site while preparing the drink. Pour all ingredients over ice in a pint glass. Stir vigorously for amount 30 seconds. Empty ice from cocktail glass, and strain drink into the cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh lavender, or a few dried lavender buds floating on top. Or just drink it.
Lavender Simple Syrup
- 1 c. Water
- 1 c. Sugar
- 1/4 c. or more Dried Lavender Buds
Put water and sugar into a sauce pan, and heat up just to the point the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add lavender and let steep for 15-30 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve and into a bottle. Store in the fridge and it should be good for a few weeks to a few months.
Bonus recipe for those that read to the end. Put a splash of the lavender simple syrup and a bit of honey on some plain Greek yogurt for a delicious and healthy snack.