Only 2 (gulp) weeks of Summer vacation left until I have to join the workforce again like everyone else. Couldn’t you feel the least bit sorry for me? A head tilt to the side and a simple “awwww” will do. Now is the time to ramp up all things Summer. I intend to make the most of my time, which is why I’ve been thinking…
…about Summer drinks. You may not believe me, but you need a jar of lavender simple syrup in your fridge, for Summer drink emergencies. I have time to think of such things, so that you don’t have to. Come Fall, I’ll need your help coming up with genius ideas.
Call them sodas, call them mock-tails, call them whatever you’d like. Both drinks can be made with ingredients you can pronounce; limes, lemons, sparkling water, mint from the garden, and lavender simple syrup, which are all Summer staples in the Spoon With Me household. I whip up these special drinks in no time for dinner guests, girls nights, or backyard BBQs. A big step up from H.F.C.S- laced sodas (sorry, Dr. Pepper).
You won’t believe me until you try it, but the lavender syrup disguises itself as rum in the Faux-jito (a fizzy minted lime soda), and if you add a little lavender syrup to a real mojito, it tastes more mojito-like (probably sacrilege to serious bartenders. I won’t tell if you won’t).
Lavender simple syrup plays together with fresh lemon juice and sparkling water to make a sparkling lemonade with just a hint of lavender.
If you’re feeling more “Mo-” than “faux”, here is a great recipe for the real thing, written by a guy with the same last name as me. Jeffrey Morgenthaler is a serious bartender who knows his stuff, so just don’t tell him about the lavender simple syrup, capeesh?
Lavender Simple Syrup
One simple syrup, with at least two uses. Stir into Sparkling Lavender Lemonade, or in a Fauxjito. Sit outside on a warm Summer night, sip, and ponder other uses…(and let me know what you come up with!)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Immediately remove from the heat, stir in the lavender flowers, and allow to sit until cooled to room temperature. Strain, pressing the lavender flowers to release oils, and refrigerate in a clean jar for up to two weeks.
Inspired by the muddling methods of Jeffrey Morgenthaler
For each 16-oz glass:
- 1 sprig mint, plus 2 leaves for garnish
- 3 tablespoons lavender simple syrup (or to taste)
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (hulls reserved)
- 8 oz (1 cup) sparkling mineral water
- crushed ice
In the bottom of your glass, gently muddle together the sprig of mint with the simple syrup. Add the lime hull and sparkling water. Top with crushed ice, and stir to mix. Garnish with the mint leaves.
Sparkling Lavender Lemonade
Inspired by the lovely lavender lemonade at Native Foods, a California chain of yummy organic vegan restaurants.
This recipe will make one pitcher of lemonade, to serve around 4 people.
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 quart sparkling mineral water
- Lavender simple syrup to taste (anywhere from 1/4 cup to 3/4 cups, depending on how sweet you like your lemonade).
Stir all ingredients together in a pitcher. Serve over crushed ice.