Posts Tagged ‘lavender’

Lavender Freshens Up a Mimosa…or Mocktail

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

A good friend of mine is having a baby soon (very!) and we mobilized to throw her a shower. Of course, she couldn’t drink alcohol and it hardly seemed fair to serve what the guest of honor could not drink at all. So I found a neat solution with two tasty drinks.

Several of my cocktail books also feature mocktails, although I admit they are the least used sections. One provided the recipe for a nice lavender drink and it was a simple matter to swap out the club soda with Prosecco for guests wanting a unique mimosa instead. The lavender syrup was ridiculously easy to make, as is the homemade grenadine I’ve mentioned before.

Lavender syrup:

4 oz sugar
4 oz water
1/2 teaspoon dried culinary lavender buds

 Heat sugar and water on the stovetop until sugar is dissolved to make simple syrup. Remove from heat and add lavender buds (I used a loose tea holder to contain the buds). Let steep for 25 minutes, then strain into an airtight container and let cool completely. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

 

Lady Lavender’s Mocktail or Mimosa (single), my variation:

3 oz fresh grapefruit juice (I used 2 oz lemonade and 1 oz Rio Star grapefruit instead)
¾ oz
Lavender Syrup
¼ oz grenadine
2 oz chilled club soda OR substitute sparkling wine for the mimosa
1 basil sprig
1 fresh lavender sprig (optional)

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the grapefruit juice, Lavender Syrup and grenadine and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled glass, stir in the club soda/sparkling wine and garnish with the basil and lavender sprigs.

Pitcher Quantity (makes 24 drinks):

6 c. lemonade (I used the Simply Lemonade brand)
3 c. pink grapefruit juice (I used Tropicana Ruby Red)
2 ¼ c. Lavender Syrup
¾ c. grenadine
Bottle each of club soda and sparkling wine

 Mix the first four ingredients prior to the event and chill well. Add the club soda or sparkling wine to individual glasses at serving.

In order to attend to other details and not babysit the drinks, we put out the pitcher of mocktail mix, ice, bottles of chilled club soda and Prosecco, and instructions for guests to top their drinks with either club soda or Prosecco according to their preference, so this drink gives hosts and guests great flexibility. It is also a variable mix as you can play around with the ratios of grapefruit juice, lemon juice or lemonade, and syrups to find the sweetness or tartness that suits you.

A great drink for an Easter brunch or other occasion. In our case, the drinks were pink and perfect to sip while anticipating baby girl Coco’s arrival!

Cheers, ICE

The original Lady Lavender Mocktail was created by bartender Gregory Best of Atlanta and featured as a Food & Wine cocktail.

As always, check out my Glossary of Spirits page for alcohol and mixer definitions and details.

 

It’s Tequila, Not Te-kill-ya

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Let’s talk tequila, shall we? I know, I know: you had a bad experience with tequila in college/your 20’s/Tijuana/Cinco de Mayo/whatever. Yeah, yeah, we all have those tequila stories.  But I’ll bet if you’re really honest with yourself, you also had those nights with vodka, rum, everclear, spodi, Mad Dog… But now we are adults (marginally) and it’s time to put that baggage behind us. Time to put Cuervo behind us.

Trust me, there is a world of tequila out there that does not involve dual streams of liquid poured into your awaiting mouth. While tequila may have knocked me down a time or so, I’ve always been able to come back; however, only since starting my cocktail experimentation have I learned more about this spirit, so here’s a brief summary AND a great tequila-entry drink awaiting.

All tequilas are not equal

Six months ago I was unaware that there are different types of tequila.  I’ve learned enough to now seek out what I like. Here’s a rundown of tequila types and Wikipedia provides more details:

Blanco/Silver tequila: This is the “youngest” tequila, in that it is aged only a maximum of 2 months before filtered, bottled and distributed. This tequila usually has the strongest taste and sharpest bite, and is the core of most margaritas.

Reposado tequila: This is “medium” aged tequila, and can rest in wood or steel barrels from 2-11 months prior to bottling. These tequilas, called aged or rested, tend to be smoother, darker and mellower than the blanco varieties. Do not confuse the reposados with the Joven/Oro (or Gold) types, which are blancos with coloring and additives (like Cuervo Gold). Bleh.

Añejo tequila: Aged for at least one year in smaller barrels, these tequilas are very smooth and complex and often fall into the “sipping neat” category, if that’s your thing. Extra añejo tequilas are aged for 3 or more years.

Although purists might be appalled (purists are such buzz-kills, aren’t they?), I now frequently substitute reposado tequila in recipes calling for blanco because I like the mellower taste and additional flavors of the reposado (and a bottle usually costs just a couple dollars more).

Ready to put your tequila fears behind you? Try out the Purple Haze, a recipe from the DRY Soda Company, a Seattle-based provider of all-natural, more adult (not XXX adult, silly) sodas.  Red Hook thought this cocktail did a good job of moderating the tequila.

Purple Haze

1¾ oz  tequila (reposado or blanco)
½ oz Chambord
2 oz lime juice
2 oz simple syrup
4 oz Lavender DRY Soda
Sugar Rim and a Lime for garnish (optional)

Prepare a bucket glass with sugar rim and add ice. Pour lemon and lime juices, simple syrup, tequila, Chambord, and Lavender DRY into glass and stir gently. Garnish and serve.

Note: the original recipe calls for 4 ounces of “sweet and sour mix,” usually meaning 2 ounces of lemon or lime juice (or a combination of the two) and 2 ounces of simple syrup.  I broke it out here because I felt the drink was a bit too sweet, so next time I will add less simple syrup to taste.

So, try out a different, better quality tequila and a good recipe to put your tequila-phobias behind you. Then you will never have to hide on Cinco de Mayo again.

Cheers, ICE