Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lavender Cocktails - Tipple Trend Alert

At this year's Manhattan Cocktail Classic one thing was evident - lavender is a new hot ingredient on the cocktail scene.  The night of the Gala alone, I enjoyed three different cocktails using the aromatic herb, all of which were surprisingly delicious.  Lavender, a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) adds a subtle floral note that balances well with sweeteners (honey), citrus, and even bitter flavors.

For your imbibing pleasure, below are the recipes to the Lavender Cocktails from The Manhattan Cocktail Classic, and a few more for good measure.  Cheers!

Image from Wikipedia
The Union Square Negroni is a surprising application of the aromatic flower, one that worked beautifully in balance with the bittersweet flavors of the Negroni.  The cocktail is a variation on the traditional Negroni, with layers of lavender to enhance the libation: a spray of lavender tincture, lavender bitters, and a fresh lavender sprig.  On Monday at the Negroni seminar, the handsome gents from Saxon & Parole showed us some of their Campari infusions - including lavender and lemongrass infused using a sous vide.

Photo Courtesy of Lush Life

Union Square Lavender Negroni
Created by Naren Young

3/4 oz Campari
1 oz Bulldog Gin
3/4 oz Cinzano Bianco
2 dashes Lavender Bitters

Garnish: lemon wheel, lavender sprig
Glass: rocks
Ice: cubes

Stir and strain on fresh ice, spray with lavender tincture, garnish with a lemon wheel & a lavender sprig.

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Upon a bit of research in Gaz Regan's Negroni book (a cocktail library essential), I found another lavender negroni by Dushan Zaric of Employees Only:

White Negroni
Created by Dushan Zaric

1 3/4 oz Plymouth Gin
1 oz Lavender Infused Dolin Blanc
3/4 oz Gran Classico Bitter

Garnish: Lemon wheel
Glass: Rocks
Ice: Cubes

For the Lavender Infused Dolin Blanc

2 Tbs dry lavender
1 liter Dolin Blanc

Place lavender in a sauce pan on medium heat for two minutes.  Add 2 cups of Dolin Blanc, bring to a boil, and immediately remove from heat.  Let cool.  Add remaining vermouth, strain through a cheesecloth.   

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I also loved the simplicity of the Honey Cooler by Dutch Spirits's Ethan Kelly - he made a lightly carbonated soda flavored with fresh lemon and lavender, and paired it with his delicious Sugar Wash Moonshine. 

Photo Courtesy of MCC
Honey Cooler
Created by Ethan Kelly

1/2 oz Dutch's Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine
1-1/2 oz Homemade Lemon Lavender Soda

Glass: highball
Ice: cubes

Build in a highball over ice.

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Finally, in the depths of the evening - the Lavender Bees Knees at Death & Co. was part of the line up at the Tanqueray Takes 6th after party.  The aromatics of the lavender bright and floral, complimenting the sweetness of the honey and the citrus.  Any lover of France's famed lavender honey will be sure to love this variation on the classic, and lucky for you, it's on the menu at Death & Co. right now!

Lavender Bees Knees
Created by Thomas Waugh

2 oz. Tanqueray No. TEN
3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
3/4 oz. Acacia Honey Syrup (2 honey:1 water)
3 drops Scrappy's Lavender bitters

Shake with Ice, strain into a cocktail coupe.

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Here's another from my friends over at 12 Bottle Bar - they have a recipe for a gorgeous Lavender Collins made with Leopold's gin, Lemon Juice, Lavender Syrup, and Club Soda.  What a perfect tipple for summer!  (Side note: this is a great cocktail blog - check it out for more boozy inspiration!)

12 Bottle Bar's Lavender Collins

Lavender Collins
Created by 12 Bottle Bar

2 oz Leopold’s Gin
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1-1/2 oz Lavender Syrup (recipe below)
3 oz Club Soda (+/- to taste)

Stir gin, lemon juice, and syrup together in a Collins glass.
Add 2-3 ice cubes and top with Club Soda.
Garnish with a lavender stalk and some petals, if you wish.

Lavender Syrup
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Filtered Water
1.5 Tbsp Lavender Buds

Use the hot infusion method.


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