Light, Fresh and Lemony with just a hint of lavender, this Lavender Lemonade Martini is a fantastic summer libation.
This month’s Progressive Eats is hosted by Laura Kumin from the blog ‘Mother Would Know‘ and is all about ‘Summer Bounty’ which meant we could include fresh vegetables, fruits and/or herbs that you would typically associate with summertime. I decided to go the herb route mostly because I was dying to make this Lavender Lemonade Martini again and share it with you; it’s really a great cocktail.
I love lemon all the time but I don’t think there is anything much more refreshing than an ice cold lemon flavored drink in the summer. I love lemonade and lemon drop martinis and limoncello and this…my take on a Lavender Lemonade Cocktail that my daughter had at a local restaurant that she begged me to re-create. I first published this several years ago before I started my Friday Cocktail series and I thought it time to share again with more people; it’s such a quintessential summer drink.
My daughter Lauren worked at Nordstom’s at that time in their Visual Department (she made everything look pretty and yes, was one of the Christmas elves who transform the store overnight from business as usual the day before Thanksgiving to a holiday wonderland the day after). Each year they host a nice dinner for staff for the holidays. After one particular Christmas season, she came home with instructions, “You have to make this lemon lavender cocktail that I had at Beatrice and Woodsley!”
She said it reminded her of a lemon drop martini but with lavender infused vodka. I wasn’t inclined to make that effort until summer when I thought it just seemed most appropriate; mostly because I was growing lavender in my garden and wanted to use my own. Since that time, I’ve moved and left behind my own lavender fields (pictured below) so I’m starting fresh. Three mid size plants went into the ground last week so there will be limited harvesting this year…but I was able to pluck enough for this drink. Score!
You may have read or heard at some time about insuring you use culinary lavender for food or drinks. That’s a good call to remember if you’re buying it but when I plant bushes in the garden I use what I have; I think the variety in the ground now is Provence and it was perfect in this drink. Keeping it culinary means never using pesticides, that’s my theory.
I’ve also used lavender for bouquets at my kitchen table and in my bedroom, for making sachets for gifts, and of course for some favorite treats. In addition to this cocktail I love lavender shortbread and this Lemon Ricotta Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Herbs – run, don’t walk if you like the sound of this match; it is to die for. The photo? Sorry, not so much.
I decided to use a bottle of Ketel One Vodka for this cocktail. I was recently invited to a Vodka Tasting put on by Ketel One at a local golf club and it was both fun and enlightening. One of the owners, Carl Nolet, Jr., led the tasting and trust me when I say it was enlightening it was almost shocking. I was completely surprised at the differences between a couple of premium brands. I thought them significant and the quality of the Ketel One product was beyond evident.
Devoid of a medicinal note that was inherent in the others and especially when infused with either orange or lemon, the Ketel One was bright and citrusy, not sweet and overdone. I admit I’m now a huge fan; the difference was discernable and now there’s no going back, I’ve got a new favorite brand. I was especially pleased to get a signed bottle from Mr. Nolet but I didn’t let that stop me; it will be used!
I thought at first of infusing some vodka with the lavender but instead chose to make a lavender simple syrup and that was a good call. I wasn’t sure just how many uses I would find for lavender vodka; except to have one of these every day…wait, maybe I should have done that??!! So easy, so refreshing…really, really good (can you TELL I liked it!).
As far as making homemade lemonade, the real secret is to make it using a simple syrup so you don’t have to worry about the sugar not dissolving. In this case, I infused the simple syrup with lavender; let it cool completely and then it was added to lemon juice and vodka for this oh so refreshing Lavender Lemonade Martini. That’s it…three ingredients; could not be simpler.
This one is pretty, lemony and so important in these dog days of summer…a super COLD cocktail! Goes down very easy…hope you enjoy one too and to you I say Cheers!
Be sure to check out the other recipes below for using our Summer Bounty. We have such a talented group of bloggers putting together special dishes each month…don’t miss them!
Lavender Lemonade Martini
For the lavender simple syrup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 sprigs of culinary lavender
For the cocktail
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 4 oz vodka, chilled
- Sugar for rimming
- Additional lavender sprigs
- Lemon slices, halved
To Make the Simple Syrup:
- Combine the sugar and water in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil; cook only until the sugar is dissolved. Add lavender sprigs and allow to cool completely, stirring occasionally.
To Make The Cocktail:
- Rim the edge of two martini glasses with a lemon slice and dip the edge into sugar (I like cake decorating sugar with larger crystals)
- Strain the lavender simple syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and add the lemon juice and vodka. Shake until VERY cold.
- Pour the lemonade/vodka mixture through a strainer into a cocktail glass. I prefer it without ice but if you prefer, put some crushed ice into the glass first.
- Garnish with lavender sprigs and lemon slices.
This is also a delightful drink without the vodka if serving to non drinkers or children!
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month we’re featuring Summer Bounty, hosted by Laura Kumin, who blogs at Mother Would Know. Our theme features fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits associated with summer in a menu that we hope you’ll enjoy!
- Middle Eastern Zucchini Tahini Eggplant Dip from Mother Would Know
- Dill Caprese Bruschetta from Jenni Field’s Pastry Chef Online
- Mediterranean Salsa Brushetta from Foodhunter’s Guide
- Bruschetta Pizza from The Redheaded Baker
- Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Tomato Tart from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Blueberry White Chocolate Tart from Stetted
- Mile High Strawberry Pie from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pretty as a Peach Shortbread (gluten-free) from The Heritage Cook
- Blueberry Lavender Shrub Syrup from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.