All the cocktail hipsters think the Paloma is some new tequila drink, but Mexicans have been drinking it for decades. This version combines tequila and mezcal in equal parts. Too much mezcal could overwhelm the subtle flavors of the lavender—not traditional, but so nice!—and cutting it with tequila calibrates the whole deal.
MAKES 1 COCKTAIL
1⁄2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 1⁄2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice 1 tablespoon lavender syrup (recipe follows)
1 1⁄2 tablespoons tequila blanco
1 1⁄2 tablespoons mezcal
1⁄4 cup club soda
Sprig of fresh lavender, for garnish
1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lime juice, grapefruit juice, lavender syrup, tequila blanco and mezcal.
2. Add 1 1⁄2 cups ice, seal the shaker, and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds to chill and dilute the cocktail.
3. Open the shaker and add the club soda. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass and garnish with the sprig of fresh lavender.
MAKES 3 CUPS
Lavender might not be Mexican, but it sure is an LA. herb. Mediterranean herbs like this grow like weeds in L.A., and you see lavender growing everywhere from the fancy mansions of Hancock Park to the front yards of little Spanish bungalows in East L.A. It makes this town smell like a candle store on some hot summer days! I love this syrup in iced tea with a little lemon.
2 cups water
1 tablespoon dried lavender
2 cups sugar
1. In a small pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the lavender. Remove from the heat and let the liquid steep for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.
2. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a container, cover and store in the fridge until ready to us