Okay so this is a fermenting site, but alcohol is a product of fermentation, right? So let’s do this. If you read my post on ginger simple syrup, then you already how know how easy a simple syrup is to make. (They don’t call it “simple” for nothing!) To see how to use the syrup in a cocktail, read through to the end. If you just want to use lavender syrup on other things, like pancakes, oatmeal, vanilla ice cream, tea, etc…. here we go!
I always use filtered or distilled water, and normally organic sugar. The only “advantage” of regular white sugar is that the syrup color will be lighter. But even when using the darker syrup from organic sugar, the final drink will still be clear when the other ingredients are added.
Lavender Simple Syrup
You will need: a small pot; clean stirring spoon; tongs or straining spoon; fine mesh strainer (could be as simple as something like this) sauce funnel; small mason jar and 5 oz. bottle for syrup (or more/larger depending on quantity made)
This recipe will fill one 5 oz. bottle (which will make about nine cocktails following the recipe below). If you are making more than one bottle of syrup, the time will generally follow proportionally. For instance, one bottle needs to boil for about 20-25 minutes. Two bottles will take around 40-50 minutes, and so on.
1 oz. (30 grams) fresh lavender
1 cup filtered or distilled water
1 cup granulated sugar
1.) Rinse the lavender.
2.) Set a small/medium saucepan on medium-high heat; combine the water and sugar and stir until dissolved.
3.) Reduce heat to medium-low and add the lavender. Let simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring periodically.
4.) Remove the lavender with tongs or a straining spoon.
5.) Through the fine mesh strainer, transfer the syrup to a mason jar or other vessel.
6.) From there, transfer the syrup to the bottle using the funnel. (Or just keep in mason jar.)
Although the syrup may still seem watery (loose), once it cools in the fridge it will solidify. By the next day you will see that you have a fairly thick syrup. Even a slightly watery syrup will be appropriate for this wonderful drink, so don’t boil more than 25 minutes. (Syrup that’s too thick doesn’t come out easily, so when in doubt, remove from heat.)
Lavender Tom Collins
So now for the Tom Collins part. A Tom Collins is traditionally a cocktail of gin, lemon, sugar and carbonated water. So simple and yet so refreshing. Be careful not to have too many of these, and never drive while intoxicated.
How can we improve on such a perfect drink? Instead of sugar, we are going to use the lavender syrup. And while you can certainly stick to regular carbonated water, there’s so many delicious flavored carbonated waters out there nowadays. There’s many options which are lemon flavored, lime, or lemon-lime; all good choices. I am a fan of Deer Park’s Sparkling Pomegranate Lemonade in particular in this drink.
Spindrift products are amazing, all-natural, with only carbonated water and naturally sweetened with a touch of fruit juice, no added sugar. This lemon soda is a favorite to use:
This drink is very versatile. The lavender, along with some pom seeds and juniper berries, gives it a cozy, wintery vibe. Lavender grows nicely here in Georgia throughout much of the winter. Everyone enjoyed these thoroughly at our little New Year’s Eve soiree. But lavender grows pleasant tasting leaves most of the year, and no doubt this would provide some welcome refreshment in the warmer months.
Lastly, I don’t mind gin, but I normally prefer vodka. My go-to vodka is Titos’ so my name for this drink when prepared with vodka is the “TLC,” that is, Tito’s Lavender Collins.
- 1.5 cups ice
- 2 fluid oz. gin (or vodka)
- 3/4 fluid oz. lemon juice (fresh squeezed always best)
- 1/2 fluid oz. lavender syrup
- 1 cup ice
- 2 fluid oz. carbonated water of choice
- 1 lemon wedge
- Optional garnishes: lemon/sugar rimmed glass; sprig lavender (lightly muddled); juniper berries (lightly muddled); pomegranate seeds (esp. if you use the Deer Park pom lemonade!)
1.) Fill a Collins/Highball glass with 1 1/2 cups ice, set aside in the freezer.
2.) Combine gin (or vodka), lemon juice, and lavender syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add 1 cup ice, cover and shake until chilled. Strain into the chilled Collins glass.
3.) Top off with your sparkling water of choice, lemon slice, and any additional garnishes.
Enjoy! Let us know any creative twists you put on this!