Cocktail of the Week: Lemon Lavender Fizz

When I think about lavender, rarely does it come up as anything more than a simple, pretty flower with a relaxing scent and therapeutic qualities. It's perfect for a luxurious bubble bath, and a beautiful pop of purple color to any garden. But this shrub's tendency to be grouped together with the other soap scents does a disservice to its culinary strength: a relative of the mint family that's not uncommon in Provençal cookery, lavender deserves a permanent place in your pantry.

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The flower's light, dusky flavor makes for a spectacular infusion in simple syrup, a mixture that's a cinch to put together and which has quickly turned into one of my kitchen staples. Two of my favorite recipes include a refreshing lavender honey sorbet and rich and creamy lavender fudge. It's also perfect in a drink, particularly paired with a nice dry gin. While gin can be hit or miss with certain mixers, its juniper-scented undertones play off nicely against the sweetness of the lavender syrup. Stirred with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and topped with club soda, it's a perfect springtime drink. - Sarah Green

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2 oz. gin
1½ oz. lavender simple syrup*
¾ oz. lemon juice
Dash of club soda
Garnish with a twist of lemon

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Pour gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice into pint glass and stir. Top with club soda, garnish with lemon, and serve.

*To make the lavender simple syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1½ tbsp dried lavender buds

Heat sugar and water in a small saucepan with lavender until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, then set to the side to cool. Strain out the lavender and refrigerate. Yields one cup.