Gin / Vodka

hi! + indian summer lavender lemonade

10.15.14

lavender lemonade // the shared sip

Oh, hi there! Welcome to this little corner of the interwebs I’ve carved out for us to gather around the proverbial bar and raises our glasses together. You can read a little more about how this blog came about over here, but finally, after trying out too many themes, tinkering with a logo (still not satisfied) and getting my hands dirty in some html, it’s herrrreee!

I went through no less than 2,764 potential names for this space—there was the good, the bad and even the ugly (no, seriously: “Hooch + Holler” was on the table at one point, and don’t even get me started on my fiancé’s suggestion of “Ice Spice.” Um, what now?)

But when I thought a little more about why I wanted to even go to the effort to catalog my gin-fueled adventures, the reason was simple: I wanted a place to hang out with you. To cheers to the inevitable over-bittered cocktails and the perfectly-garnished concoctions alike. To share a sip, if you will. Let’s face it: drinking alone is boring (sometimes necessary, sometimes borderline alcoholic, but always boring). Drinking with friends is, in my opinion, one of the great playing field-levelers out there. So let’s hang out, OK? Stay awhile.

Before we get to this week’s cocktail, I also want to note that this won’t just be a blog of cocktail recipes. I’ll probably also wax poetic about silly things that are on my mind (like the new season of Homeland! OMG.) and maybe even delight you with a story or two. I hope that’s okay.


Now, onto the boozy portion of our programming!

Ah, summer. It feels like we practically spend all year longing for you, but by the middle of July we can’t wait to say goodbye. Have we really already forgotten about your warm nights, outdoor concerts, BBQs in the ‘burbs and weekend getaways? I know we’re all anxious for pumpkin spice everything and sweater weather, but I, for one, will miss you. Plus, we’re in the midst of the much-anticipated indian summer here in San Francisco, so anything heavier feels just plain OUTLANDISH. A pumpkin-bourbon smash?! Don’t be crazy.

As an ode to summer, and in an effort to use the lavender that is somehow growing like gangbusters in our ghetto urban “backyard” (read: 8×8 patch of dirt that none of the apartment’s tenants have the know-how to maintain), I present to you: Lavender Lemonade. For a minute, I was worried to use the lavender, thinking it must be a deadly strain since no one was touching the thing. I even googled “how to tell if lavender is poisonous.” The internet told me this wasn’t really a possibility, so I went with it.

I read in a recipe that you could circumvent the step of actually making lavender simple syrup, and since I love anything that allows me to be even a fraction lazier than I already am, I thought, HELL YES! It instructed me to just put several sprigs of lavender in your shaker with the other ingredients, shake an extra 30 times, and voila! Lavender-infused cocktail.

Wrong. This doesn’t work. Not even a little bit. You gotta make the syrup. But here’s the good news: Make a bunch and store it in your fridge—it will keep for at least a month. I’ve used simple syrups wellllllll past a month, and haven’t died, so do with that tidbit what you will.

Other than that, this recipe is super simple. Because summer is about simplicity, amirite? It’s a nice one to sip on the porch (read: in front of an open window of your 600-square-foot apartment) in the last few days before daylight savings ends and it becomes dark at 5pm again. I can’t even talk about it.

Imbibe and enjoy!

Lavender Lemonade
makes 2 cocktails

  • 3 oz gin or vodka (ok, let’s be honest: I used 4 oz)
  • 2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • Lavender simple syrup to taste (I used a generous .5 oz) – recipe follows
  • 2 sugar cubes
  • Ice
  • Coupe glasses, teacups, or small rocks glasses

Assembly:
Place one sugar cube at the bottom of each glass. In a cocktail shaker, combine all other ingredients. Shake and strain over sugar cubes. Garnish with lavender sprig. Would also be lovely on ice!

For the lavender simple syrup:
makes about 1 cup

  • ½ c. water
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh lavender buds; about 8 sprigs

Simmer all ingredients on low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Run through a fine mesh strainer to catch the lavender remnants.

I love to store my syrups in the smaller versions of these, which I can only seem to find at the Crate & Barrel Outlet.

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Skim + Sip
My favorite finds this week, boozy and otherwise

  • Cocktail-related: One last summer sip, The Painkiller, from one of my favorite bloggers, Shutterbean. Tracy’s blog is a delightful mix of innovative-but-simple recipes, gorgeous photos, and thoughtful inspiration. Basically I want to be her BFF. You’re going to hear so much more about her from me.
  • The Capsule Wardrobe: I’m really, really intrigued by this idea! I feel like it could be so liberating if the thought of it wasn’t causing me so much anxiety.
  • Everyone I know is having babies. These could easily become my go-to shower gift.
  • We finally set a wedding date – September 27, 2015! I’m trying to figure out how to work this into the budget. Necessary.