One of the most important concepts in drinks is when and with what it is served. Generally cocktails can be divided into 2 different categories: Aperitifs (before meal) and Digestifs (after meal). Aperitifs are often lighter in alcohol content, have an element of bitterness or dryness and might be bubbly. Digestifs tend to be stronger in alcohol and are sweet.
Let’s talk about aperitifs. The point of aperitifs is to stimulate the appetite before the meal. That’s why they are often more in the dry or bitter spectrum of flavor; you don’t want to kill the appetite immediately with a too sweet drink. In northern Italy there is actually a chic culture built around this concept, called aperitivo. This happens usually in the afternoon, after work but before evening. You can go with a friend or more to have drinks, like Aperol Spritz or anything with Campari, and a plate with a selection of different snacks, like aged cheeses, dried ham, olives, nuts, grissini and taralli.
I wanted to make a non-alcoholic drink that would have a Nordic twist to it and that would fit into this Italian concept of aperitivo, so I created a Blueberry Lavender Mocktail. This is the perfect time of the year to make such a drink since lavender is in bloom and this mocktail has a very fresh taste.
It is a simple 3 ingredient drink, that has enough complexity to keep you entertained as long as it lasts and also one that definitely works to wet the appetite before the meal. I would pair it with things like milder cheeses, such as brie or camembert, beef carpaccio and dark chocolate, but it stands very well on its own as well. I have enjoyed a few just while relaxing in the sun with a good book. You can also just multiply the recipe and make a punch with it for more people.
Blueberry Lavender Mocktail
- 1,3 oz
40 ml Lavender Syrup
- 2,6 oz 80 ml blueberry juice
- 3,1 oz 100 ml tonic water
- Lemon juice optional
- Build the drink in a Hurricane glass. Fill the glass with ice.
- Add the lavender syrup.
- Add the blueberry juice.
- Top with tonic water.
- Mix well and garnish with lemon peel and a twig of lavender.