Everyone who owns socks knows that lavender is good stuff. I had never considered using it as food, but in the realm of craft cocktails, we must leave no stone yet unturned. This cocktail is refreshing, perfect porch material for the coming spring and advent of Jazz Fest here in the Crescent City. This drink is a dazzling blend of floral and citrus—can’t imagine anything that tastes more like spring. It tastes great with and without alcohol, so, what you will. SO fancy.
Adapted from Food and Wine
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup dried lavender flowers
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
11 ounces chilled fresh grapefruit juice
1/4 ounces Angostura bitters
40 ounces chilled sparkling water
Basil leaves, grapefruit slices and/or lavender flowers, for garnish
Lavender Syrup first. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 2 hours. Strain the syrup through a fine sieve.
In a mini food processor, pulse the basil with the lemon juice until minced. Scrape into a large pitcher. Stir in 11 ounces of the lavender syrup (any remaining syrup can be refrigerated for 2 weeks) and the grapefruit juice, the bitters and sparkling water. Strain into ice-filled glasses and garnish with basil.
To transform the mocktail into cocktail, use 24 ounces sparkling water and 16 ounces gin.
Here’s my parent’s dog after a mocktail. Par-tay!