Lavender Martini

Lavender Hill Farm - original watercolor by the Cocktail Artist
Northern Michigan is filled with gorgeous scenery - clear blue lakes, pine forests, and idyllic family farms. In mid-summer, the sea of purple blooms at Lavender Hill Farm is absolutely stunning. This lavender farm is located in Horton Bay (Boyne City), Michigan - a small hamlet where Ernest Hemingway spent many summers and the setting for his story "Up in Michigan". If you are anywhere near this part of the world during the month of July you shouldn't miss visiting the farm. Not only will you be treated with the visual beauty of the lavender fields, but the scent is utterly intoxicating (in a completely non-alcoholic way). Research shows that lavender produces soothing effects when its fragrance is inhaled, and we can verify that this place fills you with a sense of calm. Coming from Washington, DC (where we live most of the year) we are quite desperate for some calm.

We picked fresh lavender at the farm and also purchased a container of dried culinary lavender buds. Now that we're back in DC we decided to work on a new lavender cocktail in hopes of conjuring up some of those soothing effects. We have used lavender in cocktails before (see our Tom Collins recipe). It's easy to make a simple syrup using the lavender buds. The recipe for the syrup can be found in the Tom Collins blog post. If you're looking for a non-alcoholic drink, lavender syrup is a very nice addition to plain club soda with a squeeze of lemon. There are some pre-made lavender simple syrups out there, but you can find plenty of other ways to use culinary lavender and the dried buds keep for a very long time. If you don't have access to a lavender farm, you can purchase the buds in specialty food shops or online.

So here's our Lavender Martini. It's somewhat herbal, slightly sweet, and completely calming - a nice aperitif after a hard day or an attractive cocktail to serve your over-stressed party guests.


Lavender Martini

2 1/2 oz. Vodka (We like District Made Vodka. If you can't get it, use a nice local craft vodka, or iff you're a gin lover you could also substitute gin for the vodka.)
3/4 oz. Blanc vermouth (Dolin is our preference)
3/4 oz. Lavender simple syrup (see recipe for the syrup in our Tom Collins blog post)
2 dashes lavender bitters (Scrappy's Bitters)
2 dashes orange bitters (Scrappy's Bitters)

Shake all ingredients with ice cubes in a cocktail shaker for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lavender sprig and lemon twist.

Lavender Hill Farm in July 2017

The Lavender Martini and the ingredients

Lavender - original watercolor by The Cocktail Artist

You can make a nice non-alcoholic spritz with lemon, lavender syrup and club soda.

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