Refresh yourself this Summer with a Lavender & Bergamot Gin Fizz
“it’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime!” — Kenny Chesney
As the summer heat rises, it’s time to roll out those lazy, crazy summer days and enjoy some refreshing cocktails.
One of the most beautiful sights in Summer is the blooming Lavender fields. Lavender adds a surprisingly refreshing layer to a cocktail. The combination of floral notes with fresh citrus notes is a perfect fit for a Sunday brunch, a garden soiree, or a picnic in the park. So, blow off some of that stress with a beautiful combination of Lavender and Bergamot in this delightfully elegant cocktail.
Lavender has a strong flavour with an unmistakable clean and fresh aroma. However, it makes for a complex culinary herb that can be used fresh or dried and the theory of little is more (like Vanilla) is definitely applicable here. Pairing it with a fresh and bright Bergamot brings it to life. In fact, Lavender & Bergamot are perfect bedfellows that help to bring out each other’s flavour.
Lavender is a flowering herb that belongs to the same family as mint, sage, rosemary & thyme. It is identified by the beautiful purple hue of its flowers and its sweet floral aroma. Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region, though, today it is cultivated widely in other regions as well. The flower and oil are used to make medicines, cosmetics, and perfumes. This fragrant plant has a pungent floral and herbaceous taste with hints of mint and earthiness and is used as a flavour component in food and beverages. It imparts an elegant, floral, slightly sweet flavour to savoury and sweet dishes.
Lavender has been revered not only for its fragrance but for its healing and antiseptic properties for over 2500 years in many different cultures. The ancient Egyptians used it for perfumes as well as in the mummification process. The Romans and ancient Greeks used it in soaps and would infuse their bathing water with lavender flowers. Interestingly, it derives its name from the Latin word ‘lavare’ which means ‘to wash’. In fact, it was discovered that if washed clothes were dried on a lavender bush, the dried clothes would retain the lavender fragrance. They would even strew lavender flowers on the floor and fumigate the rooms with lavender incense to sweeten the air as well as use it in religious ceremonies.
“To make a perfume, take some rose water and wash your hands in it, then take a lavender flower and rub it with your palms, and you will achieve the desired effect” — Leonardo da Vinci
In 77 AD, Dioscorides, who was a Greek physician working in Emperor Nero’s army, mentioned Lavender as one of the healing plants in his work De Materia Medica. He observed that ingestion of lavender relieved headaches, sore throats, uterine disorders, and indigestion. The Roman soldiers would dress wounds in lavender for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. It remains a timeless herb that is used by many to aid sleep, soothe motion sickness, sore muscles, and headaches, treat acne, menstrual cramps, and Eczema, as well as to destress and relax.
Bergamot is an aromatic citrus fruit that is considered the “ Prince of Citrus” due to the popularity of the oil extracted from the rind of this fruit. This fragrant fruit is the size of an orange and its colour is quite similar to a lime before it ripens and turns yellow like a lemon. One of the hypotheses on its name is that it is an etymologization of the Turkish word beg-armudi that means ‘ Prince’s Pear’ since its appearance resembles a bergamot pear. The origin of this fruit is uncertain. However, 90% of the world’s Bergamot is cultivated around the southern coastal region of Calabria, Italy. It is also grown, albeit in smaller quantities, in Southern Turkey, Southern France, Greece, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Brazil, and Argentina.
The Bergamot fruit is a cross between a bitter orange and lemon with an intensely citrus and bitter taste with a sour zing. Interestingly, Bergamot is hardly ever eaten “au naturel” due to the high acidic content in the juice. It is cultivated mainly for the aromatic oils from the rind that is used to make medicines, cosmetics, aromatherapy, and perfumes. It is often used as a citrus flavouring agent in desserts and gelatines. When its oil is combined with tea, it gives the citrusy floral aroma and taste that brightens up the Earl Grey Tea.
The Bergamot orange contains vitamin C, B1, B2, and A as well as potassium and was used to treat malaria, intestinal worms, and fever by the early Italians. It is also used in Ayurvedic medicines for bladder infections, sore throats, skin rashes, acne, and sores. It is used in aromatherapy to relieve stress, anxiety, and fatigue as well as to elevate one’s mood.
Lavender & Bergamot Gin Fizz
A creamy and fizzy garden-inspired floral cocktail.
- 1½ oz / 45 ml Gin
- ½ oz / 15 ml Bergamot Liqueur
- ¾ oz / 20 ml Lemon Juice
- ¾ oz / 20 ml Homemade Lavender Syrup
- 1 Egg White
- 4 Drops Butterfly Pea Flower Tincture/extract
- Soda to Top-up
- Garnish: Bergamot Bitters, Dried Culinary Lavender Buds, and Fresh Flower
- Add all ingredients into the shaker tin and dry shake.
- Then fill the shaker with ice and hard shake.
- Strain into a Glass and Garnish with a few drops of Bergamot Bitters, a sprinkle of dried Lavender Flowers, and Fresh Flowers.
- Drink, Smile, and Repeat.
Tasting Notes: The Bergamot flavour brings out the refreshing juniper & the citrus notes of the Gin that forms the backbone of this cocktail. The Lavender in the drink gives it a perfect peppery floral punch without being too overpowering. The egg white provides a velvety mouthfeel and a silky texture to the drink.
- Small Plates: Grilled Chicken Sliders; Tandoori Chicken Tikka; Tangdi Kebabs; Spicy Chicken Wings; Salmon Crostini; Sushi; Ceviche; Pigs in a Blanket; Roasted Almonds; Cauliflower Fritters; French Fries; Herb & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms.
- Greens / Soups: Herb Chicken Mediterranean Salad; Roasted Beet Salad with Arugula, Goat Cheese & Pistachios; Gazpacho; Chicken Soup.
- Big Plates: Roasted Halibut with Tomatoes & Capers; Pan-Fried Sea Bass with Lemon Garlic Herb Sauce; Shrimp Risotto; Chicken Shawarma Wraps; Garlic Herb Butter Roast Chicken served with Potato Salad and Green Beans & Asparagus; Mongolian Chicken served with Steamed Rice; Malvani Chicken Curry served with Steamed Rice or Roti; Pork Chops with Plum Sauce served with a side of Mashed Potatoes and Green Salad; Moist Pork Loin with Herb Sauce; Turkey Picadillo with Steamed Rice; Baked Feta Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Chilies & Herbs; Margherita Pizza; Baked Cauliflower Ziti; Vegetable Biryani with Mirchi Ka Salan; Dum Aloo served with Khatti Dal and Roti.
- Desserts: Rosemary Lemon Cake; Earl Grey Macarons; Orange Panna Cotta; Chocolate Orange Truffle Tart; Madeleines; Blueberry Cheesecake; Qubani ka Meetha; Apple Tarte Tatin; Crème Brûlée.
Originally published at https://perfectpotions.co on May 3, 2021.