GARDEN FRESHNESS IN A COCKTAIL GLASS

Weekends during the spring and summer are often filled with trips to the farmers market or harvesting the wonders of your newly planted garden. Both locations offer a bounty of fresh herbs that just beg to be mixed into an array of cocktails. Herbs can add so much flavor to your cocktails whether they are muddled into the drink, cooked into a syrup or used simply for garnish for a fragrant hint of garden goodness. Follow us on a cocktail journey through your garden and you’ll be thrilled at how quickly you’ll be running out for that last snip of mint during a friend-filled Friday night bash!

Sometimes the simplest of things can bring the utmost of pleasure. Take this 3 ingredient wonder which transitions your winter bourbon into summertime brilliance. The addition of St. Germain brings the honey-scented elderflower into your cocktail, catapulting your bourbon into the flavors of summer.  All you need to add is a few fresh sprigs of lavender from the garden which, when combined with a lemon twist, create the perfect herbal swizzle stick for this delicious drink.

GidgetSpringtimeSmash 2

Gidget_SpringtimeSmash 1

SPRINGTIME SMASH

TOOLS :: Mixing glass, bar spoon, strainer
GLASS :: Highball
EXTRAS :: Fresh sprig of lavender, lemon peel, large ice cubes {they minimize melting}
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
5 oz. Bourbon {we used Knob Creek here}
1 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
4 dashed Angostura bitters

HOW TO MAKE IT :: Add bourbon, St. Germain and bitters into an ice-filled mixing glass. Using barspoon, stir until very well chilled, approximately 30 rotations. Strain cocktails into ice-filled glasses. Using lavender sprigs and lemon, swizzle cocktail gently to release flavors. Leave garnish in glass.

YOUR FIRST SPRING FLING :: LAVENDER LEMONDROP MARTINI

Spring is in the air! We’ve sprung our clocks forward and now we’re ready to soak in some of that new found sunshine – with a new cocktail in our hands! We all know that spring is a time to look forward to beautiful flowers, longer days and the beginning of backyard entertaining. In order to welcome this time of year with open arms, we introduce you to a cocktail that may become your official drink of spring: the Lavender Lemon Drop Martini.

The key to this drink is the addition of lavender which is a member of the mint family, making it the perfect culinary herb to add into your springtime cocktail lineup. By taking advantage of lavender’s sweet, floral notes in homemade simple syrup, your martini takes on that special springtime twist you’re looking for.

LAVENDER LEMON DROP MARTINI

Gidget+LaRue's Lavender Lemondrop ~ sure to become a favorite!

Gidget+LaRue’s Lavender Lemondrop ~ sure to become a favorite!

TOOLS ::  Cocktail shaker
GLASS :: Martini
EXTRAS :: Sugar and grated lemon rind for glass rim
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
4 oz. Vodka
2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons worth)
2 oz. Lavender syrup (recipe below)

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
1. Using fine grater, grate lemon rind from one lemon onto small plate. Add 2-3 tablespoons of sugar and mix to combine. On another small plate, pour 2 tablespoons of lavender syrup.
2. Dip martini glass into syrup, coating rim then dip the rim into lemon sugar mixture.
3. Place all liquid ingredients into an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake it like you mean it! (15-20 seconds at least!)
4. Strain contents into sugar rimmed martini glasses and enjoy!

LAVENDER SYRUP ::
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. dried lavender
*optional: food coloring if you’d like more purple tint to your syrup

1. In a high-sided saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water and sugar, add dried lavender.
2. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to ensure sugar is dissolved.
3. Turn heat to low and let simmer 3-5 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Using fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain syrup into container.
5. Refrigerate until needed.

This cocktail is simple to make and guaranteed to get you into that springtime state of mind. Add the syrup to lemonade, add ice and club soda to the recipe above or choose gin over vodka for other variations on the drink. No matter what, this Lavender Lemon Drop Martini is sure to have you skipping your way into spring before you know it.