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Lust for Life: A Refreshing Summer Cocktail Recipe


Enjoy seasonal recipes from Susan every month here on Midlife Boulevard. For more of Susan’s recipes, visit her blog, That Susan Williams.

When Midlife Boulevard asked me to come up with some summer cocktail recipes this month, I immediately thought of a wonderful mixed drink called “Lust for Life.” I first had it in a very exclusive Nashville restaurant last year on my wedding anniversary.

It was unlike any cocktail I’d ever tasted before: slightly sweet, yet with a citrusy tang, cool and refreshing, with an herbal note that was totally unique. It was so good that the next day, I set about researching exactly what was in it, and figuring out how I might go about making the same drink. And since I’ve done the research for you, you won’t have to!

The very special ingredient that makes this drink so different is a lavender simple syrup. I had never tasted it before, but when you combine the lavender syrup’s slightly herbal, flowery taste with lemon juice, gin, mint and club soda, you have a beverage that is both refreshing and delicious.

Lavender syrup is available commercially through companies that make flavored syrups to add to coffee or tea. Or, if you’re the intrepid sort, like me, you might want to make your own. It’s really just a simple syrup, which is 2 cups of sugar to one cup of water, simmered with 3 tablespoons of dried lavender.

If you decide you want to make your own, culinary-grade dried lavender (Amazon affiliate link) is available via the internet. (That’s where I ordered mine!) When you have simmered it for five minutes, you strain it, and what you end up with is a lovely berry-colored syrup that you can store in the fridge for a week.

I’m not very good with measuring teeny amounts in ounces. I tend to be more of a “add a splash of this, and a dash of that, taste it, and correct it to your liking” kind of girl. So the measurements I’m about to give you for this cocktail are approximate. Please feel free to add more lavender syrup if you think you’d like it a little sweeter, or add less lemon juice, if you like your drinks with a little less tartness.

Lust for Life Cocktail

2 oz. gin
1 T. lavender simple syrup
1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 crushed mint leaves, plus more for garnish, if desired
3 oz. club soda

  • Stir the gin, lavender simple syrup, lemon juice and crushed mint leaves together.
  • Taste, and adjust sweetness to your liking by adding more lavender syrup or more lemon juice.
  • Strain out the mint as you pour the mixture into a glass with ice cubes.
  • Top off with 3 oz . of club soda, and stir again.
  • Garnish with mint.

This drink pairs beautifully with Ina Garten’s quick and easy recipe for rosemary cashews. 

Susan Williams

Susan Williams writes about food, faith, and fun at ”That Susan Williams”. She loves to share her passion for great food, simply and beautifully prepared, and only shares recipes she deems to be “the best of the best”. Susan is ably assisted by her talented food photographer husband, who isn’t quitting his day job as a music producer for the fame and fortune of blogging just yet. Susan is a born storyteller. Find Susan on Instagram: susanwilliams

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Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life

Monday 30th of June 2014

This is definitely a drink I know I will like...perfect for poolside! Can't wait to try it! Thanks for linking it up with us at Foodie Fridays!

Lisha @ The Lucky Mom

Tuesday 24th of June 2014

Oh, my. Sounds perfect for my summer go-to drink!


Friday 20th of June 2014

Oh, so this is what you left on my Facebook page yesterday! Yes, yes - looks delicious and I want to make it! And I'd really like to drink it with you, Susan. :)

Susan Williams

Friday 20th of June 2014

I made it special, just for you, Dawn!

Walker Thornton

Friday 20th of June 2014

This looks wonderful and I recall seeing lavender at Whole foods this week! A weekend project.

Susan Williams

Friday 20th of June 2014

I had to use 3 T. of dried lavender to make the syrup, Walker. I have never tried it with fresh lavender before, just in case that's what they have. But if they have dried culinary grade lavender, you're good to go!

Anne Parris

Thursday 19th of June 2014

I want lavender syrup for everything!

Susan Williams

Thursday 19th of June 2014

The next recipe I saw that I want to try, Anne, was a pound cake with blueberry and lavender syrup! I can almost taste it right now!

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