This Lavender Grapefruit Martini is a fresh and flavorful cocktail, just right for welcoming spring.
CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE RECIPE
With the approach of spring, my mind has been turning to all the fresh ingredients that come along with it. Mind you, I have to look at a calendar to know that spring is approaching, as Houston was entirely without winter this year. Regardless, the jasmine and azaleas blooming made me think of another, more edible flower: lavender.
Back when Liz lived in New York, there was a great bar just down the street from her apartment called Dove Parlour. Sadly, it has since closed, but we think of it quite fondly. It had this dark, almost speakeasy feel, and was the sort of place that felt entirely natural to order fancy cocktails and once, even absinthe. Of course, they don’t make it with hallucinogenic wormwood anymore, so it’s not as fun, but I digress. One of their signature cocktails was the “French Lavender,” and I might go so far as to call it Liz’s favorite cocktail in all of NYC. So this is our homage to that drink: a lavender grapefruit martini.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our friends at Drizly for supplying the bottle of gin for this cocktail, and we hope you’ll give them a look next time you’re looking for online hooch. (You can get gin and Cointreau from Drizly to make this cocktail without leaving home!) Liz and I both have our go-to gins (Tanqueray and Hendricks, respectively), but since Liz is out of the drinking game for about another 2 months, I got to pick. So I went with something new on the recommendation of a seasoned expert at my local liquor store. The Botanist Gin hails from Scotland of all places, specifically the Islay region. I admit, I was a bit taken aback, as the Scots aren’t really known for anything other than, well, Scotch. But when I think gin, I think England, and they are RIGHT there, so I suppose it’s not really too much of a stretch of the imagination to think that the kilted folk would put their vast distilling knowledge to work on a different spirit. I think they nailed it. It’s a very floral spirit, with a lot of citrus and herb notes. What I’m trying to convey is that there is a definite flavor to the gin, not just the burn of ethyl alcohol. This would be awesome in a dry martini, or in something slightly more complicated, like…a lavender grapefruit martini.
Before all you botanist readers yell at me that the flower in the pictures is not lavender but rather is an orchid, I’ll explain. First, it’s sort a play on The Botanist Gin, as so many anthophiles love orchids. And second, it’s just a very pretty plant that started blooming after about 18 months of inactivity, and we thought it went well with the drink.
Speaking of, it took a few iterations to find the right ratio for this drink. I know, life is hard when you just HAVE to spend an afternoon trying multiple iterations of a cocktail. But it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make.
Digging up an archived menu from Dove Parlour, we saw that their version used a lavender infused gin. As a substitute, we added a dash of lavender extract to the drink. A little goes a long way, but the flavor is very refreshing. We also threw in some fresh grapefruit juice. I love grapefruit in just about any form: bruleed at breakfast, as an alternative to OJ in mimosa, and heck, I’ll eat a whole one like a giant orange as a snack. Plus, grapefruit (the pink kind anyway) give you a beautiful pink juice that makes your drink look really pretty. Just be sure to strain your freshly squeezed juice before you measure it out. A cocktail is no place for seeds or pulp. Once you’ve got your juice squeezed and strained, it comes together in a jiffy. Just add it all together and shake with ice. Then pour and garnish with a lemon twist. We raised a toast to the good times at Dove Parlour, but you are of course welcome to toast to whatever deserves it. Cheers!
- 1 oz gin
- ½ tsp lavender extract
- 2 oz grapefruit juice
- ½ oz cointreau
- Add all ingredients to a shaker (be sure to strain the grapefruit juice if squeezing fresh).
- Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Strain into a glass and serve.
Need another spring cocktail to quench your thirst? This Lemon Basil Gimlet is always a winner!