On Vancouver Island, we enjoy relaxing, and what is more relaxing than lavender?
Late spring on Vancouver Island is lavender season, and as we head into July, harvesting begins. Every yard, planter, garden and farm is awash in purple blooms. It’s hard to resist crushing a few lavender flowers in your hand to release their intoxicating scent. That aroma is one of the surest signs that summer on the Island is close at hand. We’ve captured that feeling in our Lavender & Strawberry Gin Fizz summer cocktail, just in time for this beautiful weather!
Lavender is also a popular flower with the bees. We want to give our pollinator friends a little love so we are going to use Wayward Distillery’s Unruly Gin. Located in Courtenay, Wayward Distillery produces Unruly Gin which is made with local honey that is fermented into mead before being distilled into the base spirit for their gin. This process produces considerably less spirit than other methods, but what it does produce is truly unique, and an ode to our pollinating pals.
Unruly Gin has a rounded, rich, warm texture that is a pleasant backdrop to a restrained juniper, cedar, citrus and lavender botanical blend. Yes, there is lavender in the gin. That will help us layer up that flavour and round it out!
While there is lavender in the gin, most of that flavour is coming from Bilston Creek Farm’s lavender syrup. Bilston Creek Farm is a beautiful lavender farm in Metchosin. They make a lightly floral lavender syrup that is a great addition to cocktails. It is made with pure cane sugar and can be used as a substitute for simple syrup in any summer cocktail recipe where you’d like a little floral flavour boost.
Fresh strawberries also start showing up in the markets around the time lavender is in bloom. They work well with lavender and are going to be a nice addition to our cocktail. Find some nice ripe farm fresh strawberries and muddle those in the bottom of your shaker time. We’re going to balance the sweetness of the lavender syrup with some freshly squeezed lemon juice. A little egg white for some foam on top. Shake that up and strain it into a Collins glass for a refreshing and delicious cocktail. Top it with a sprig of lavender, a fresh strawberry and enjoy!
- 3 fresh strawberries
- 2 oz Wayward Distillery's Unruly Gin
- 1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1 oz Bilston Creek Farm Lavender Syrup
- 1 egg white
- Soda Water to top
- Garnish with lavender and strawberry
Muddle strawberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add gin, lemon juice, lavender syrup and egg white. Shake without ice for 15 seconds to incorporate and aerate egg white. Fill cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a tall glass without ice and top with soda water to serve. Garnish with lavender and a strawberry.
Wayward Distillery Unruly Gin
Unruly Gin starts life as 100% pure BC Honey. Wayward Distillery ferments honey into mead and distill that mead to spirit using custom designed stills, ensuring that only the softest and sweetest hearts are ever collected. We then distill those hearts one final time, using vapour infusion to capture the delicate and bright aromas of our unique blend of locally sourced and organic botanicals.