The dog days of summer are here, and whether you’re swinging on a hammock in your back yard, soaking your toes in a Pocono lake, or darting in and out of the ocean, chilling—both physically and mentally—is top priority. Sure, you can satisfy your craving with a crisp white wine, frosty beer, homemade iced tea or lemonade, but if you’re hankering for something to put a little spring in your step, this sophisticated lemon-lavender cocktail from Blue Pear Bistro imparts a flavor profile that’s both refreshing and subtly sweet—and evocative of sitting on the porch of a big old Southern or Victorian home, fan in one hand, cool cocktail in the other, face and glass glistening with condensation. Aromatic, light and very grown up, this innovative blend of summertime ingredients goes well with lighter foods such as grilled shrimp or fish, salads with yummy add-ins like avocados, dried cranberries, beets and salty nuts, or even a slice of lemon-chiffon cake loaded with fresh fruit and chantilly cream.
French Lavender Honey Lemonade (Makes one cocktail)
• 1 oz. Citron vodka
• 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
• 2 oz. Lillet Blanc
• 2 oz. chilled sparkling or soda water
• 1 oz. lavender honey
• Fresh lavender flower garnish
Fill a large, tall glass or oversized wine glass with ice. Add vodka, Lillet, lavender honey, lemon juice and water. Stir, and garnish with lavender flower.
Lavender Honey Infused Syrup
Makes 2 3/4 cups, enough for about 20 drinks
• 2 cups water
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup honey
• 1/4 cup dried (food grade) lavender flower blossoms
Mix the water, sugar, honey and lavender together in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Let boil for one minute, then remove from heat. Let mixture steep for one hour, then strain. Bottle syrup and keep refrigerated for up to two months.