A welcome contribution to Looka!'s "Cocktail of the Day" feature from Malika Henderson, who describes this long drink as "a perfect summer drink". She used vodka in hers, but unsurprisingly, I prefer gin and have adapted the recipe as such.

1-1/2 ounces Plymouth gin.
1 ounce lavender syrup.
1 to 1-1/2 ounces fresh lemon juice (to taste, as to your tartness preference).
Sparkling water.

To make the lavender syrup: bring 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and the zest of one lemon to a boil; remove from heat, then add 1 cup lavender blossoms. Let steep overnight, then strain and bottle.

Fill a highball glass with ice, add the syrup, lemon juice and vodka, then top with sparkling water. You may leave out the vodka to make it nonalcoholic, and it's also great with white rum (and you can use vodka if you insist, too). I'd also try it with a syrup made from rose geranium leaves instead of lavender blossoms; I love rose geranium syrup!

Malika and Catherine used to publish a quarterly newsletter called "Food Notes and Stories" and has now become a food and travel publication called Meal Ticket, which looks really good. You can see what it's all about at the above link. You might just have to become a subscriber.


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Chuck Taggart   email chef (at) gumbopages (dot) com