Thursday, 4 July 2013

Cocktail Hour: Lavender Vodka Lemonade

So my arrival back in England means the launch of my 'Cocktail Hour' column, posting different seasonal and timeless cocktail recipes for you all to all make and enjoy. There have been some requests for non-alcoholic (virgin) cocktails in this column, and while I have decided that I am not going to compose recipes specifically geared to non drinkers, I am going to be sure to mark all the recipes that work just as well if you leave the alcohol out, or suggest alcohol alternatives whenever possible. 
Lavender Vodka Lemonade | @rachelphipps
For my first cocktail I decided to add vodka, arguably the most versatile spirit of them all to some ingredients that I have been playing around with a lot recently. I was making pitchers of homemade lemonade practically every single week leading up to when I left Los Angeles because I was getting such big beauties at Westwood Farmers Market every Thursday afternoon. I put together a recipe for Thyme infused lemonade for the Birchbox blog (coming soon!), which made me start thinking about other herbal infused lemonades; rosemary and basil. On arriving back home for the Summer I found I could go down the floral route with all the roses and lavender in bloom. I have yet to think about how I'm going to cook with the rose petals, but lemon and lavender became fast friends as a flavour combination in my head when I started composing another recipe using them both as the star flavours in another guest post spot. It was really a natural progression! Apparently, though it is Wimbledon at the moment which usually means rain, I've managed to bring the weather back from Los Angeles with me so this boozy lemonade served over lots of ice is the perfect cooling cocktail to enjoy this weekend. Also, this works well without vodka, also for those of you who like a little less booze.  
Lavender Vodka Lemonade | @rachelphipps Lavender Vodka Lemonade | @rachelphipps
This recipe makes about a medium jug of fresh lemonade. As for the lavender, thyme can also be used but if you don't have fresh lavender growing in your garden ready to cut, small pots of it already flowering can be purchased reletivly inexpensively from any garden center, and will look pretty in your window.

  • 6 Fresh Lavender Heads, plus extra to serve
  • 1l (4 cups) Boiling Water
  • 75g (1/3 cup) Granulated Sugar 
  • 2 Large Lemons
  • 10-14 tbsp Vodka

Place the lavender in a small bowl and cover with 250ml (1 cup) of boiling water and set aside to infuse. Meanwhile, add the rest of the sugar and water to a small saucepan and simmer over a low heat, stirring gently until all the water is disolved. Take off the heat. Juice the lemons and add the juice to the sugar and water mixture. Remove the lavender stems and any additional stray pieces from the smaller bowl of water and stir it into the lemon mixture. Allow to cool, and add the vodka to taste/ personal preference. Enjoy served over ice, and preferably watching the tennis. 

I have a couple more planned, but does anyone have any particular cocktail recipe requests to make? 


  1. Mmm it looks really delicious, thanks for the inspiration, I have definetely to try!!!!! :)
    Have a nice day!

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  2. I will have anything with lavender in it, it's probably one of my favourite things about the world we live in, hah. I'm not a sweet tooth so I'll probably skip the granulated sugar but this looks quite delicious. xx

  3. I would half the sugar to make it a little less sweet (I sometimes do) but I would not exclude it totally as the lemons do need the edge taking off of them, if only a tiny bit!

  4. Pretty pics! Welcome back to the uk!

  5. I love the straw! <3

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  6. I loooove lemonade, but I haven't tried it with herbs before. I personally don't like vodka, though so I'd probably skip that. Do you think it would work with any other types of alcohol?

  7. I can't see why not, I chose Vodka as it does not really have its own flavour and I wanted the lavender and lemons to sing, but I think Gin would also be great, and any other combinations I think depend on trial and error, and personal taste. Let me know what you end up with!

  8. Ahh when I come over we're having this!

  9. Maybe. I might have other things planned too!

  10. This sounds amazing!

    Maria xxx

  11. You're right, I tried this without the sugar a few days ago and it was a bit too bitter even for me. Still delicious though! x

  12. Sometimes depending on what lemons I'm using, what herb (I also use Thyme in this) and if I am adding alcohol or not I play around with the rations too - it is all up to personal preference!

  13. Ohh thyme is a great option! I am off to buy some herbs today, I'll give it a go with some fresh thyme as well. x

  14. I made this yesterday and my boyfriend really loved it. Perfect drink when it's hot outside!