Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lovely Lavender Lemonade

I love summer evenings, where you can still feel the heat of the day, but it's lost its edge, and you can just sit outside and enjoy being where you are.  There's nothing much better than kicking up my feet in my hammock and watching the kids play around.  Unless, of course, you add in a tasty cool drink.

Today I was inspired by the lavender in my yard.  Lavender lemonade sounds lovely, doesn't it?  Sweet, tart, and floral.  Ooh, and let's kick it up a notch by adding a little gin.  Wink wink.

Grab some fresh lavender, if you have it, and muddle it in a shaker.  If you don't have fresh lavender, you can use dried lavender, but instead of muddling it, soak it in 3 ounces water for 10 minutes or so, then strain the water to use in the lemonade.  You could also use dried lavender to make lavender simple syrup and use that in this recipe.

Anyway, we're just going to go the fresh route, for now, to be less confusing.  After you've muddled it, add several ice cubes to the shaker.  Then add in an ounce of gin, 3 ounces water, 1-2 ounces simple syrup, and the juice of one lemon.

You can play with this a bit to make it to your taste.  Leave out the booze to make it kid-friendly.  Add more booze and back off the water if you're having a ladies' night and you want to get better gossip.  Change the gin to vodka if you're not a fan of gin but still want the grown-up version.  Sweeten it to your taste.

Speaking of sweetening, if you don't have simple syrup on hand, it's super simple to make.  I'm pretty sure that's how it got its name.  Just bring a cup of water and a cup of sugar to a boil together until the sugar is completely dissolved, then let it cool.  You can store it in the fridge for a long time, and it's great to have on hand for drinks.  You can also add in herbs and such to flavor it up, if you're looking for a certain flavor.

Give all the ingredients a good shake, and then strain it over ice in a clean glass.  I don't mind a few buds in mine, but if you do, just strain it through a fine mesh strainer.

Sip, relax, and enjoy!

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