Lavender Lemonade Martini

Light, Fresh and Lemony with just a hint of lavender, this Lavender Lemonade Martini is a fantastic summer libation and it’s beautiful to boot!

Lavender Lemonade Martini on a Serving Tray Garnished with Lemon and Sprig of Lavender.

As I start to notice the emergence of spring and summer plants from the cold hard ground of Colorado, I get most excited for herbs; several perennials and some annuals that I plant each year in a huge waist high garden box on my deck. While I love to cook with all sorts of herbs, I thought it would be nice to re-introduce you to the fabulous cocktail that uses perennial English Lavender, the Lavender Lemonade Martini.

I love and use lemon all the time and I don’t think there is anything much more refreshing than an ice cold lemon flavored drink in the summer. My favorites include homemade lemonade, lemon drop martinis, Limoncello, and this Lavender Lemonade Cocktail that I re-created trying to mimic one that my daughter enjoyed at a local restaurant.

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After college, my daughter Lauren worked at Nordstom’s in their Visual Department. Her team made everything look pretty and yes, she was one of the Christmas elves who transformed the store overnight from business as usual the day before Thanksgiving to a holiday wonderland the day after. I didn’t like it so much…our girl was gone every Thanksgiving and came home too tired to do anything but fall into bed. Ahh…memories.

Anyhow, each year Nordsrom’s hosted a nice holiday dinner for the staff. After one particular Christmas event, she came home very excited and pleaded with me, “Mom, you have to make this Lavender Lemonade Cocktail that I had at Beatrice and Woodsley!” It’s such a wonderful drink. I’m glad she insisted!

Lavender Lemonade Martini Cocktail on a Serving Tray with Lemon and Lavender as Garnish

Lauren said it reminded her of a lemon drop martini but with lavender infused vodka. I wasn’t inclined to make that effort until summer when I thought it seemed most appropriate; mostly because I was growing lavender in my garden and wanted to use my own.

Since that time, I’ve moved and left behind my own lavender fields (pictured below) so I’m starting fresh. Three mid size plants went into the ground the summer after I moved here so there was limited harvesting that year but now they are large and hearty and I have plenty for several uses. I also thought it time to publish this recipe again…it was lost in archives with awful photos and it’s too good to be forgotten.

For those who would like to use your own lavender? Make sure you have an English Lavender variety like that shown in this image with buds scattered down the stem. The Spanish varietal is not suitable for culinary uses; it’s the one with the larger group of buds all concentrated together on the end. Pretty but not edible.

I was lucky when I first planted bushes in a garden; it was simply because I loved the plants and the wonderfully scented flowers each summer. Lucky for me that I do know now; my newer garden is also filled with English lavender. Besides…I personally think they are much prettier! πŸ™‚

The variety in my garden now is Provence and it is perfect for this drink. Keeping it culinary also means never using pesticides, but I think that same scent I love is not so favored by pests, so lucky again. Bees love them though!

I’ve also used lavender for bouquets at my kitchen and bedroom, for making sachets for gifts, and of course for some favorite treats.

In addition to this cocktail I love this lavender shortbread and a Lemon Ricotta Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Herbs – run, don’t walk if you like the sound of this match; it is to die for. The photo? Sorry, not so much, another simply crying for a redo! Lavender is also one component in the wonderful herb mixture known as Herbes de Provence which I like adding to olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a salad dressing. In any situation, the importance of using with a light hand is paramount. It can be delicious but not if your food tastes like soap!

I decided to use Ketel One Vodka for this cocktail. I participated in a Vodka Tasting put on by Ketel One at a local golf club and it was both fun and enlightening. One of the owners, Carl Nolet, Jr., led the tasting and trust me when I say it was enlightening; it was almost shocking.

I was completely taken aback at the differences between a couple of premium brands. I thought them significant and the quality of the Ketel One product was beyond evident. Want to make this a mocktail? Simply sub out the vodka with an equal amount of sparkling water.

Bottle of Ketel One Vodka on Serving Tray

Devoid of a medicinal note that was inherent in the others and especially when infused with either orange or lemon, the Ketel One was bright and citrusy, not sweet and overdone. I admit I’m now a huge fan; the difference was discernible and now there’s no going back, I’ve got a new favorite brand. I was especially pleased to get a signed bottle from Mr. Nolet but I didn’t let that stop me; it will be used!

I thought at first of infusing vodka with lavender for the Lavender Lemonade Martini but instead chose to make a lavender simple syrup and that was a good call. I wasn’t sure just how many uses I would find for lavender vodka; except to have one of these every day…wait, maybe I should have done that??!! So easy, so refreshing…really, really good (can you TELL I liked it!).

As far as making homemade lemonade, the real secret is to make it using a simple syrup so you don’t have to worry about the sugar dissolving. In this case, I infused a simple syrup with lavender; let it cool completely and then it was added to lemon juice and vodka for this oh so refreshing Lavender Lemonade Martini. That’s it…four ingredients; sugar, lavender, lemon, and vodka, five if you count water. Could not be simpler.

The Lavender Lemonade Martini is pretty, lemony and of big importance; it passed Lauren’s taste test! It’s especially wonderful during the dog days of summer…a super COLD and refreshing cocktail that goes down very easy. Hope you enjoy one too…Cheers!

PIN IT! ‘Lavender Lemonade Martini Cocktail’

Martini made with lemonade and lavender syrup sitting on a silver tray.
Lavender Lemonade Martini on a Serving Tray Garnished with Lemon and Sprig of Lavender.

Lavender Lemonade Martini Cocktail

A lovely, light and lemony cocktail with a hint of lavender; the perfect summer sipper.
4.07 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Cocktails, Friday Cocktails
Cuisine American
Servings 2 Cocktails
Calories 345 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Lavender Simple Syrup

  • Β½ cup sugar
  • Β½ cup water
  • 6 sprigs English Lavender

For the Cocktail

  • Β½ cup lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 4 ounces vodka chilled

To Garnish

  • Sugar for rimming
  • Additional lavender sprigs
  • Lemon slices halved

Instructions
 

To Make the Simple Syrup

  • Combine the sugar and water in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil; cook only until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add lavender sprigs and allow to cool completely, stirring occasionally.

To Make the Cocktail

  • Rim the edge of two martini glasses with a lemon slice and dip the edge into sugar (I like cake decorating sugar with larger crystals)
  • Strain the lavender simple syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and add the lemon juice and vodka. Shake until VERY cold.
  • Pour the lemonade/vodka mixture through a strainer into a cocktail glass. I prefer it without ice but if you prefer, put some crushed ice into the glass first.
  • Garnish with lavender sprigs and lemon slices.

Notes

This is also a delightful drink without the vodka if serving to non drinkers or children!

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Lavender Lemonade Martini Cocktail
Serving Size
 
1 Cocktail
Amount per Serving
Calories
345
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
4
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
57
g
19
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Calories
345
Keyword cocktails, lavender, lemonade, martini, vodka
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Progressive Eats

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month we’re featuring Summer Bounty, hosted by Laura Kumin, who blogs at Mother Would Know. Our theme features fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits associated with summer in a menu that we hope you’ll enjoy!

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

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82 Comments

  1. I don’t know if you’ll receive this in time to reply for my upcoming party. The lavender lemonade cocktail sounds amazing – how would you suggest I adapt this if I wanted to make it in a beverage dispenser? Do you think it would work without the cocktail shaker?

    1. Hi Sallie…hope I caught you in time! Because there is nothing fizzy to go flat, there’s no reason you can prepare this ahead of time. The only thing is how to make sure it’s cold enough so in lieu of shaking with ice, it would have to be refrigerated until very cold. Since the ice shaking actually adds a bit of water to the mix as the ice is diluted in the process, I would suggest you could also add some ice to the mix in your container to help keep it cold.

      Hope that helps!

    1. Do it! Good on so many things; even something as simple as just a bit on vanilla ice cream is delicious.

  2. It’s incredibly hot and humid in DC today, so reading this post, I could just about dive into the glass. I don’t have any fields of lavender – or even a few lavender plants. Can I use the dried culinary lavender I got at the farmers market last year? It still smells lovely. While it’s not on a stem, I could wrap it in cheese cloth before submerging it in the simple syrup and then could remove it easily before straining the simple syrup into the glass.

  3. You can actually buy lavender simple syrup — we have some that friends gave us. But more fun to make your own! Glad you shared this drink with us again — so nice and refreshing for the hot, HOT summer we’re having. Thanks!

    1. I’ve seen it at some specialty stores but since I plant lavender just to be able to use it for cocktails and cookies I’m in good shape. The plants are doing OK for their first year but probably will see a big difference next year after they settle in; I would turn my entire backyard into lavender if I could!

  4. Beautiful cocktail–and stunning photos, Barb! It’s amazing the differences among brands when tasted side by side. Glad you have a new fave brand, and how cool you got a signed bottle!

  5. What a gorgeous cocktail, Barb! And the addition of lavender makes it so summery and fun! I need to check the lavender in my garden–it actually survived the winter—as this would be a fabulous addition to our 4th of July menu.

    1. I sure have come a long way writing recipes; this one was certainly lacking! I figured about 3 cups of liquid with the simple syrup, lemon juice and ice which is 24 ounces. Assuming 3-4 ounces for each cocktail one batch should serve 6 easily so I would recommend you double it for 12. When I get more time I’m taking a new photo too!

  6. I have some lavendar and have been wanting to try something with it! This looks like good place to start..

    thanks for the idea…

    Kathy

    1. Lavender is great with lemon Kathy and I’ve some some lavender shortbread on the site you might want to scope out…loved those too.

    1. It’s in mine too…it really is amazing. I would have never thought to blend whole pieces of citrus for fear the pith would make something bitter so the key is to ‘just’ do it until the larger chunks are no more but there are still big pieces of peel…it wasn’t bitter at all but had such a rich texture and taste. It will be my go to for lemonade and limeade even without the booze! One day we’ll hopefully sip together!

  7. What a gorgeous drink! It looks so refreshing and dramatic with that black background. This recipe sounds wonderful. I’m with Lauren, you have to make this drink . . . for me.

    1. It so is! That’s what I love the most about summer drinks…keep them light and cold and actually refreshing.

  8. I had that martini at Beatrice & Woodlsey too and have been dreaming of it ever since. Thanks for deciphering it Barb; I’m going to tattoo this recipe on my thigh so I never loose it!!

    1. I would love to know if I came close; Lauren loved it and I don’t think I ever heard a complaint but now that I think about it not sure I ever heard if I hit the mark either! Oh well, it’s good…that’s all that matters right? πŸ™‚

    1. Apparently you don’t know my children right? πŸ™‚

      I broke my leg in 2010…still recuperating and sometimes when I get discouraged I have things like this to remind me I really am on the mend. Stupid leg. πŸ™‚

  9. How lovely! It is definitley lavendar season here in orgon Wine Country and this weekend all the lavender festivals are happening. I love lavendar lemonade with shortbread cookies, but add vodka…weel even better!

    1. I love it in shortbread too. Oh so good as long as you have an oh so light hand with it!

  10. I’ve not used lavender in the kitchen before but now know where to buy it thanks to you and hope to enjoy it by next summer.

    Have you thought about offering a food photography class to local bloggers? Sign me up!!

    1. You are kidding right? Silly…I have a whole bunch I could harvest if you want some. Now is the time…so seriously, come over. Karen just took a whole bunch home today; I seriously grow some plants JUST for cutting!

      I’ve helped a few folks; if you want to come over some time we could do some practicing. Just let me know.

  11. I have a friend who has several lavendar plants and I’ve very fortunate that she shares her lavender with me … do you know that you can also use the leaves (dried) and that they have more flavor than the flowers ??

    I’ve added some lavender leaves to limoncello to create a lavender limoncello that is lovely … so I’ve got a good idea of what this drink would taste like – and I’m going to have to add this to my list of must-make things.

    Another idea my friend shared is to “smoke” chicken/fish/lamb with the dried lavender stems when I BBQ – she said that it’s another wonderful way to use the lavender – I haven’t tried this yet – but I believe her and will be trying it the next time I BBQ chicken or shrimp.

    Doreen

    1. I don’t think I did know that but it makes sense; just brush by them and the plant has such a great aroma…and oh my; I have to try that smoking business!

  12. Guess what I am going to be doing this weekend? Infusing some simply syrup with lavender so I can make this cocktail which I know I am going to LOVE!! I agree that infusing the syrup is a much better idea – bet that syrup would be good in sorbet as well… oh the possibiities!!!

    1. You will love it and you’re right, would be great in a sorbet. I did that a couple of years ago, mixing it with Rose wine. Was very good.

    1. Next time come to town and shop with her. She could buy for her ‘sis’ I’m sure. πŸ™‚

  13. This makes my mouth water just reading the ingredients. I’m a lemon lover, too. In both sweet and savory recipes. If it has lemon in it, I’m all over it.

    Also, absolutely love the photo. The dark background and the way you lit the drink…perfection.

    1. Thanks so much Lana; sometimes I just luck out and get a shot I love and am not even sure I could replicate…luck of the draw I say! Now heading to your site cause I’m itching for some canned cream of mushroom soup. πŸ™‚

  14. Every week you knock my socks off with your beautiful and creative cocktails and this week is no exception! The beauty of your cocktail photos are superceeded (by only a tiny margin) by the beauty of your lavender bushes!

    1. I could seriously fill my yard with them. They’re hardy, drought tolerant, come back every year and pretty. Really, what more could a girl ask for huh?

      This photo wasn’t planned to be like this; I need to remember what I did to get it just so…so next time I can plan it if I want to. πŸ™‚

  15. Slacker that I am (not really I have been insanely busy!) I am just getting to read this. It is BEAUTIFUL. What a fabulous drink. Guess what I am going to make later this afternoon? Seriously, you are speaking my language here (and would it be wrong to double the vodka? lol)

  16. Your blog is making my mouth water. This martini looks absolutely beautiful, and although I don’t drink often, I could never pass up one of these stunning drinks. I love lavender and I imagine it is divine when paired with sweet and tangy lemondade.

    1. The good news is that this is also perfect for non drinkers; the lavender lemonade alone is fabulous; the vodka a smooth addition for someone wanting a cocktail but absolutely not necessary!

  17. I saw this on Facebook from a posting by Foodblogs and just had to see what it was all about. I thought about buying a lavender plant over the weekend but didn’t. Know I will go back and pick one up. This looks and sounds like such a wonderful cocktail. You have a beautiful blog. So glad I found you.

    1. Danielle, it’s one of my favorite plants. I’m in Denver and it seems to thrive here. When it’s in bloom it’s beautiful so it’s a great herb. Plant, herb and scent…love them all! And thank you for your kind comment; glad you found me!

    1. I told ya…such a wonderful and unexpected surprise. First time ever I’ve harvested most of my lavender buds. Just did a lavender version of shortcake too…hoping to post about both herbacious versions soon!

  18. Gorgeous! I’ve been hearing a lot about lavender infused vodka lately. I really must give it a try. Your blog is fantastic! I’m so glad I stumbled onto it today.

  19. Beautiful looking drink Barb! I’ve missed some of your posts…RSS Feed stopped working! So I’ve subscribed by email. Got some catching up to do.

  20. Another fabulously addicting sipper Barb – and we’ve wanted to plant lavender for a couple of years now; haven’t done it yet but now? I’m thinking it would be a good time to plant some! Grateful I’m not your neighbor – I’d need a 12-step program!

  21. Oooh if I lived closer. Glad your daughter found this. Do wish lavender grew here. I carried a plant down from our trip to the Himalayas, but it didn’t survive the plains! I wept when it died. Am so envious of yours. Are you close to Texas? {Pardon my American geography}. My Mum is there for a couple of weeks.
    xo

  22. Very refreshing and creative cocktail. I haven’t worked much with lavender because Im afraid to go overkill with it. But you seem to have it down!

  23. Hey Barb! Thanks so much for swinging by the RGB today! I haven’t mentioned this yet, but I carried a bouquet of lavender from the backyard for the big day. It’s drying out on the fireplace mantle right now.

    Had you posted this a couple days sooner, I probably would have made this martini to go with my post-nuptial picnic!!!

    It looks LOVELY, and so applicable to the RGB. Bookmarking this as a future idea for the Bistro. πŸ˜‰

    [K]

  24. Ever since I tried a lavender creme brulee at this great restaurant I have been hooked on lavender infused dishes. This drink sounds too fabulous to be true! I am most definitely going to try this! You daughter had a great idea! Maybe I’ll make these to share with my mom!

    1. Check out the pizza mentioned in the post too. So different and it was great. Just a bit of lavender honey at the end but loved it. Not a manly dish…great to share both with your mom.

  25. Although I am not much of an alcohol person, I can imagine this being very refreshing.. going to pass this on to some of my martini loving friends!

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