April showers may bring May flowers, but I'm an impatient lady, as I want the world to be in full bloom already. My solution is simple: I turn to the home bar when in need of a floral fix. A swirl of lavender simple syrup and a dash of Page's Parfait Amour — a crème de violette analogue — dress up the classic Tom Collins cocktail for a sipper that transports you to sunnier days.
Wary of floral elements in food? I was too, not so long ago. The key is restraint, as the line between lovely and eau de old lady is fine. Thankfully, this cocktail is well balanced and refreshing, and could convert all but the most stalwart floral-food haters.
Look for sprigs of culinary lavender at the farmers market; dried can be found in the spice section of some supermarkets or online. If you can't find sprigs of fresh culinary lavender for the garnish, then omit it, or sprinkle each glass with a pinch of dried culinary lavender.
- For the lavender syrup:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender
- For the cocktail:
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 3/4 ounce lavender syrup
- 1/4 ounce Page's Parfait Amour
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Soda water
- Lavender flower, for garnish (optional)
- For the lavender syrup: Add the sugar, water, and lavender to a small saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has come to a simmer. Cook for 2 more minutes, and then take it off the heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain the lavender out; chill before using. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.
- For the cocktail: Add the vodka, lavender syrup, Page's Parfait Amour, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, and strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Top off with soda water, and garnish with a sprig of lavender, if using.
- Drinks, Cocktails
- 1 cocktail, plus 2 cups lavender syrup