Round-Up: Lust for lavender
Your gran's favourite fragrance, now imagined in cocktails for spring
Paired with everything from the rather neutral vodka and gin to a more robustly flavoured red wine, and muddled with other fragrant botanicals such as hibiscus and elderflower, the sweetly perfumed lavender blossom is enjoying a turn at several restaurants and bars across the country. Here’s a serving of a few such iterations that exude spring with every sip.
Pranav Mody, the restaurant’s manager and mixologist, sends off this rather exotic-looking, deep purple-hued cocktail with a generous pour of house-infused lavender-hibiscus vodka and vanilla syrup, along with a splash of orange liqueur and a citrus mix. Adorned with a marigold to offset the colour, the drink is the ultimate ode to flower power.
The Sassy Spoon, Nariman Point, Mumbai. Rs600
Drawing inspiration from their best-selling Japanese-style deconstructed lavender cheesecake, this Park Street restobar has now come up with a liquid homage to the springtime blossom. A potent blend of house-made flower bitters, gin and tonic with a strong hit of lavender flowers, this cocktail is named after the address of chef and co-founder Urvika Kanoi’s chef school in London, which had a beautiful lavender garden.
Bodega Cantina-Y-Bar, Kolkata. Rs295
A signature cocktail created by Olive Beach bar manager R. Dhanendran, this is the refreshing sum of its Grey Goose vodka, lychee, pomegranate and lavender parts. The cocktail sees fresh lychee and pomegranate muddled together and then shaken with vodka, a house-made lavender syrup, fresh lime juice and ice cubes and served in a cocktail glass with an orchid as a garnish.
Olive Beach, Bengaluru. Rs650
Even Mumbai’s newest pan-Asian restaurant seems to be going lavender. Not only is their lavender ice cream the most in-demand dessert, they say, but another lavender-based creation is surging up the popularity charts as well. Imagined by beverage and cocktail developer Tanai Shirali, this cocktail is made with vodka, sparkling wine and lavender and wildflower extracts. The lavender’s perfume lends a beautiful, sweet-scented complexity to this libation that’s stylishly served up in a champagne flute.
Shizusan, Mumbai. Rs625
Taking a rather bold detour from the de rigueur pairing of lavender with vodka or gin, Ema Pereira, head mixologist, “consciously couples" a deep garnet-red wine with dried lavender blossoms for her floral version of the wine cocktail. Served up in a gin and tonic coupe, it has bits of muddled apple, a sprig of thyme and fresh jasmine flowers top it off.
Theory, Mumbai. Rs550
Green Tea and Lavender Martini
A rather subtle melange of decidedly Eurasian flavours, this martini is made using a special in-house green tea and lemon grass infusion, with thyme and lavender added to accentuate the herbaceous, floral notes. A splash of vodka (in lieu of gin) and lemon juice finishes it off. And just like its sangria counterpart, this martini is jazzed up with the Theory signature garnish of fresh jasmine buds and a few sprigs of thyme.
Theory, Mumbai. Rs860