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Lavender Lemon Drop Martinis - Flying Flags More to Explore - Buellton, CA

Makes: 2 tasty cocktails     Difficulty: Very Easy     Meal: Beverage    

From my RV kitchen

Like all excellent destinations, the longer we stayed at Flying Flags RV Resort the more we discovered there was to do. As you might expect we love the food scene but realize that that's not everyone's focus. Enter this episode of the Food, Fun & Friends at Flying Flags series we're calling More to Explore - spotlighting a few more of our favorite things in the Buellton, California-area.

We've been to the Santa Ines Mission several times and have found it to be a photographer's dream. Just outside of the hustle bustle of the Danish town of Solvang, natural beauty and peace prevail. I'm always amazed that these historic places are active churches. MIssion Santa Ines offers self guided audio tours from their gift shop ($5 when this episode was filmed in spring 2011) and they ask an admission fee to enter and tour the building. Enjoying the exterior and grounds are free for all and a great value. Bring a picnic and plan to enjoy an afternoon at the mission.

Quicksilver Miniature Horse Farm will melt even the most jaded traveler's heart. We've seen plenty in our many years as full time RVers but these little horses made even my burly husband go "awhhh"! It's free to visit the farm and watch the horses, which, by the way, are for sale. Births take place in the spring and I got to sit with a horse that was only 4 days old (see the opening sequence).

If you enjoy gaming and entertainment don't miss the Chumash Casino. Catch the complimentary shuttle to and from Flying Flags for a hassle free way to go. If you plan it just right you might even get an opportunity to see a top-shelf show!

Cheryl Andre-Wagner had us over to her Andre Organic Lavender, shared some lavender secrets and inspired us to make this episode's feature recipe - Lavender Lemon Drop Martinis. She grows two varieties of culinary lavender - Sarah and Vera. What's the diff between culinary lavender and lavender in general? You'll have to watch the show to find out :>

Here we go with the Lavender Lemon Drop Martinis. Further down you'll find a recipe for a non-alcoholic Lavender Lemonade.

Ingredients and How-to

Lavender Simple Syrup

Infuse a simple syrup with a flavorful herb and you'll get magical results

equal parts granulated sugar and water (I make it in 1 cup/1 cup batches)
2T culinary lavender flowers

In a saucepan combine sugar and water over medium heat, let it come to a soft simmer and heat until the sugar is melted. Stir and allow to simmer one minute to thicken slightly. Remove from heat and stir in lavender. Allow to steep until room temperature. The longer it steeps the stronger the lavender flavor. Strain the lavender flowers from the liquid, pour the liquid into a jar and refrigerate. Keeps for over a month in the fridge.

Lavender Lemon Drop Martinis

granulated sugar (on a plate) to coat glass rim

3 shots* fresh squeezed lemon juice - about 3 medium lemons
2 shots lavender simple syrup
2 shots high quality vodka - chilled

cocktail shaker (see Additional Tips)
lavender springs for garnish

Using a lemon rind wedge from an already squeezed lemon half, rub the wedge to moisten a glass rim. Coat the rim with granulated sugar and set aside. Repeat for other glass.

In cocktail shaker add lemon juice, lavender simple syrup, vodka and ice. Vigorously shake and strain into sugar rimmed glasses. Garnish with lavender sprigs if desired.

*A shot is typically 1.5 ounce

Lavender Lemonade

No funky ingredients that who knows how to pronounce or what's in them. This is simply lemon juice, sugar, water and lavender. Easy, elegant and all natural.

2 parts fresh squeezed lemon juice
1.5 parts lavender simple syrup
1.5 parts water


lavender springs for garnish

Sugar glass rims as in the martini how-to above. Combine all three ingredients in your shaker for a glass or pitcher for a party, shake or stir well and pour over ice or add ice to the pitcher. Garnish with lavender springs if desired.

Use this per part recipe to make a glass or a pitcher. Delicious!

Additional Tips

Simple syrup is easy to make, wonderful to have on hand and can be left well, simple, or infused with your choice of herbs. Consider a mint simple syrup for mojitos or a basil, rosemary or thyme version for interesting flavored martinis, lemonades or even a gin and tonic twist.

Any of these recipes can be adjusted for sweet and tart to your taste. Add more or less simple syrup as you like best to control sweetness. Conversely, you can adjust the lemon juice to control tartness.

Since I don't have a HUGE home freezer I transfer vodka into a smaller glass bottle and keep it in my freezer door - refilling as I use.

With my rule that everything in my RV has to serve double-duty, my to-go beverage mug makes an absolutely perfect cocktail shaker! Try it!

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