Give Lemon Cocktails An Herbal Boost With A Sprig Of Lavender

When you pair two knockout flavors together, most of the gastronomic heavy lifting has already been done for you. It's nearly impossible to mess up a PB&J, a salted caramel cookie, or a batch of dark chocolate oranges. Today, we're deep-diving into one such iconic flavor duo, and why you should let it take your cocktail game to the next level, no fancy bartending techniques required.

There's a reason why the "lavender lemon" scent is a fixture in basically every worthwhile candle shop. Lemon and lavender are a naturally complex, complementary pairing, a union that's both refreshing and calming. Acidic, zesty lemon meets floral, herbaceous lavender for a union that's mature yet sweet — fresh, clean, relaxing, and bright without being overwhelming. It's a sensory fantasia, to say the least. Plus, it brings all the nature-inspired vibes with citrus and flowers.

To give your lemony cocktails a mature facelift, all it takes is a little lavender — and there are a few different methods for incorporating the ingredient into your lemony cocktails. For the easiest (and visually impressive) inclusion, simply pop a sprig of fresh, food-safe lavender into your drink as a garnish. Or, you could whip up a batch of homemade lavender simple syrup for a quick, flavorful sweetener. Rim your cocktail glass with an aesthetically stunning floral sugar made from granulated white sugar and pulverized lavender in a mortar and pestle. Or, freeze lavender sprigs into ice cubes in an ice cube tray for a flavorful chiller.

Lemon-lavender is the darling of the springtime cocktail scene

The classic, sweet-simple Lemon Drop Martini is crying out for a floral lavender kick. To further emphasize the botanical lavender, swap the vodka for gin, adding a juniper berry flair. Or, to really lean into those delicate yet strong floral notes, add a lavender sprig to a Corpse Reviver No. 2 with gin, lemon juice, Cointreau, wormwood-forward absinthe, and Lillet Blanc. For a quick lavender upgrade, add a fresh sprig to a fizzy French 75 with champagne, gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Or, swap the basil for fresh lavender in this Basil Meyer Lemon Vodka Collins. Lavender Lemonade Vodka Collins is also a super easy cocktail to batch for potlucks and backyard barbecues; put it in a Gatorade cooler and serve it in Mason jars.

For a dinner cocktail, you could take a cue from the Prohibition era and make a Lavender Bee's Knees with dry gin, lemon juice, honey, orange juice, and lavender simple syrup, wet-shaken and strained into a chilled coupe glass. Or, make a lavender-lemon Sidecar with cognac, orange-y Cointreau, lemon juice, and a lavender sugar rim. If you're in the mood for a mocktail, lavender, and lemon naturally make a sophisticated flavor pairing for an elevated zero-proof drink. Muddle a spoonful of lemon curd in the bottom of a stemless wine glass, top with grapefruit soda, stir in lavender simple syrup, and garnish with more lavender, a Luxardo cherry skewer, and a sprinkle of honeycomb pellets to serve.