There are some drinks that just make you think of summertime, one sip of this and you will be in back yard barbecue or floating on the lake somewhere even if only in your mind.
This drink actually started out with the intention to make a strawberry lemonade gin fizz, but then I was walking down my street and realized that the lavender was in season. I have been waiting to make a delicious lavender cocktail all year and decided to go for it on this one! The lavender and the gin were battling in the first draft of the drink.
Yes, I have to try and try and try again making these cocktails - so you're welcome for drinking all of those for you to get it just right!
I pulled the gin out and added the nice blank canvas of the vodka.
I love the color that was produced by the muddled strawberries and the fresh lemon juice. So vibrant and bright, just another reason that this was so reminiscent of summer. You will want to make sure to strain the strawberry pulp out when you are serving the drink though because it doesn't look very pretty and makes it harder to drink.
I added the thinly sliced berries to the cup for serving and think it added a really nice flare to the drink. The secret to getting them even in the cup instead of all floating on the top is to add some berries, add some ice and repeat filling the cup up. Then, when you pour the drink in, you have berries suspended in ice and at the end of the drink (much like the olive in a martini) you will have delightful, cocktail-infused strawberries to snack on!
I intentionally made these cocktails a little tart because it seemed to be more refreshing that way. There isn't really anything more aggravating to me on a hot summer day than a cloyingly sweet cocktail. I mean what is the point! This cocktail is one that you can drink all day and feel refreshed every time (again, I tested this for you!).
The San Pelligrino really makes a big difference in the overall flavor of the cocktail. I had blood orange on hand when I created this and would strongly recommend trying that if you haven't. The soda has a little bit of sugar that just balances the drink nicely. If you use club soda instead you will likely want to add a little more simple syrup to the mix.
If you aren't using essential oils (you really should be) you can put the lavender buds in the vodka the day before and it will infuse the lavender into the vodka. You could also cook it same day into a simple syrup and replace the sugar cubes in muddling with 1 oz of lavender simple syrup. Using the essential oils is just so much easier though and doesn't require the prior planning; which let's face it, is that going to happen?
When I want to have my drink, I want it now. Essential oils let me do that!
strawberry lavender summer spritzer
makes 2 highball cocktails
4 oz vodka
2 oz fresh lemon juice
6 fresh strawberries, stem removed
3 sugar cubes (or 1 1/2 oz simple syrup)
4 drops doTERRA lemon essential oil*
1 drop doTERRA lavender essential oil*
3 oz San Pelligrino blood orange sparkling water
5 thinly sliced strawberries
2 thinly sliced lemons
2 sprigs fresh lavender
Place strawberries, essential oils, and sugar cubes in mixing pint and muddle until berries are completely crushed and sugar is dissolved. Add vodka and several ice cubes. Cover with mixing tin and shake agressively for 15-30 seconds.
In two highball glasses alternate adding ice and sliced berries to glass to fill to top. Strain and pour the shaken cocktail into the two glasses. Fill the remaining space in the glass with San Pelligrino and mix gently by pushing a cocktail spoon down through the ice a couple times.
Garnish with a lavender sprig and a lemon slice that has been cut through just past half, this will let is curl a little more in the glass. Enjoy!
*We use doTERRA essential oils for cooking because of their high quality and purity. You do not have to use essential oils for this recipe but if you do make sure they are food grade and safe for internal consumption. Check out my recipe notes on how to make this recipe without essential oils if you so desire. Enjoy!