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.