Observant darlings, I know that’s not lavender I’m using as garnish. I actually have two blisters from Saturday’s hunt for fresh lavender in the greater Portland area, but am I going to whine about that when it was clearly nice enough outside for such on-foot shenanigans? No.
When I finally asked someone where I can get fresh lavender, I got “in the summer, you dummy” as my answer, more or less. Which is fair, but I am pretty sure there was a full-on lavenderganza booth at the PSU farmers’ market last week. Or maybe it was a sensory mirage, like that time I swore I smelled Jack in the Box tacos while hiking in the middle of the wilderness.
Anyhow, the drink! For coconut-related cocktailing purposes, I just can’t roll with the Coco Lopez. I’ve baked with it, but flour and sugar somehow seem to be better suited for it than really good booze. That stuff is basically coconut, sugar, and a bunch of mystery emulsifiers, so let’s break it down: coconut and sugar, we can put together on our own. The rest of the ingredient list just gives it the look and texture of Crisco.
And with coconut being as trendy as it is, you can find it in just about every form. I used pure coconut cream here, which is essentially the same thing you can skim off the top of a can of refrigerated full-fat coconut milk, if you can’t find it on its own.
The rest of this is purely refreshing: silver cachaca, enough lime to brighten up all that lavender syrup, and a bit of genepy, which adds some herbal complexity. It’s less heavy on the anise than, say, absinthe, and less intense than Chartreuse — which means it’s a better match for lighter, younger base spirits.
The toasted coconut adds a nice whiff of fragrance, but really, no garnish is necessary here (especially random purple flowers that may or may not be toxic). Just watch for the brain freeze and everything will be alright.
- 1 1/2 ounces silver cachaca (Novo Fogo used here)
- 3/4 ounce lavender syrup (recipe below)
- 3/4 ounce lime juice
- 2 tablespoons cream of coconut (unsweetened, pure coconut cream; not Coco Lopez)
- 1/2 ounce Dolin Genepy
- 2-3 dashes Scrappy's lavender bitters
- Toasted coconut, for garnish (optional)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup dried culinary lavender
- Combine everything but the garnish in a blender with a good handful of ice. Blend until smooth. Garnish with toasted coconut, if desired.
- Bring water, sugar, and lavender to a boil in a medium saucepan. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then allow to cool to room temperature. Strain well.