Can you muddle lavender?

Answered by Robert Golston

As an expert sommelier and brewer, I can confidently say that yes, you can muddle lavender! Muddling is a technique commonly used in mixology to release the flavors and aromas of certain ingredients by gently crushing or pressing them. While herbs like mint and basil are often muddled in , lavender can also be a wonderful addition to your drink.

Muddling lavender allows you to extract its essential oils, which lend a unique floral and slightly sweet flavor to your cocktails. However, it's important to muddle lavender with other ingredients rather than muddling it alone. The strong floral notes of lavender can easily overpower a drink if used in excess.

To muddle lavender, start by gently bruising the fresh or dried lavender flowers in the bottom of a cocktail shaker or mixing glass. You can use a muddler or even the back of a spoon to press down on the flowers, releasing their oils. Be careful not to crush the flowers too forcefully, as this can result in a taste.

Once the lavender is muddled, you can add other ingredients to your cocktail, such as citrus fruits, berries, or herbs, depending on your desired flavor profile. The muddled lavender will infuse its aroma and flavor into the other ingredients, creating a delightful and aromatic drink.

One of my favorite lavender cocktails is a Lavender Sour. To make this refreshing drink, muddle a few sprigs of fresh lavender with a few slices of lemon in a shaker. Add gin, simple syrup, and ice, then shake vigorously. Strain the mixture into a glass and garnish with a sprig of lavender. The result is a beautifully balanced cocktail with hints of floral lavender complementing the botanicals of the gin.

It's worth noting that lavender can be quite potent, so a little goes a long way. Start with a small amount when muddling and adjust to taste. Additionally, make sure to use culinary-grade lavender, as some lavender varieties may contain pesticides or other chemicals that are not safe for consumption.

Muddling lavender is a fantastic way to incorporate its unique flavor and aroma into your cocktails. Experiment with different combinations of ingredients to create your own signature lavender-infused drinks, and enjoy the delightful floral notes that lavender brings to the world of mixology. Cheers!