kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


La Provencal 75

Regardless of whether or not your lavender is in bloom yet, you can still make lavender-infused simple syrup for cocktails--just use a few sprigs of the leaves.

Here is a recipe I like to whip up that's a variation on one of my favorite sparkling wine cocktails--the French 75. Even though it's not French, I prefer using Prosecco in this drink, as it finishes more cleanly than Champagne or Cava. Note that shaking the gin, lemon juice and syrup with ice before pouring it into a flute is key!!! I can't tell you what a difference it makes, versus pouring them into the glass and topping with the sparkling wine, which makes the drink warmer. I've sent French 75 cocktails back at several restaurants for this reason. Don't skip this step.

I like to use Plymouth Gin because it's my favorite, it's not overly junipery and doesn't overwhelm the other ingredients. If you like a bitter lemon flavor, add a dash or two of Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters. And if you would like to turn this into a sparkling wine cocktail, just omit the gin and up the amount of sparkling wine.

La Provencal 75
1 oz. Plymouth gin
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. lavender simple syrup (see recipe)
Champagne or sparkling wine
Lemon twist or spiral (for garnish)

Add gin, lemon juice and lavender simple syrup to a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake vigorously until cold. Strain mixture into a Champagne flute, and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist or spiral.

Lavender Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4-6 lavender sprigs (with flowers if in bloom)
Add water and sugar to a pot, and heat until boiling. Add lavender sprigs, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and steep for 15 minutes. Taste, and steep longer if stronger lavender flavor is desired. Syrup will keep in the refrigerator in a container with a tight fitting lid for a week.