Last night we hosted the first of several Christmas celebrations. The evening comprised a small group of friends and family, a large piece of beef, oysters just plucked from the ocean, and delicious herbal cocktails.
The cocktail, an herbal gin fizz made with lavender and honey, would be superb in warm weather but was also a lovely accompaniment to oysters and pickled prawns beside a roaring fire with the scent of rib roast in the air. It was simple to make and set the tone for a special occasion.
Lavender and Honey Gin Fizz
1-1/2 oz Hendricks gin
1/2 oz lavender-honey simple syrup
1 fat lemon wedge
Lavender-honey simple syrup:
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup dried lavender blossoms
6-8 fresh sage leaves
In a small saucier, bring the honey and water to a simmer. Stir in the lavender blossoms and sage, cover, and turn off the burner. Let steep for at least two hours. Strain through a fine sieve and keep at room temperature.
Fill a bucket glass with ice. Pour over gin and syrup. Squeeze in lemon and give a quick stir. Top with seltzer water. Garnish with a sage leaf or a twist of lemon.