This recipe was the result of tinkering with two of my favourite flavours: mastiha and lavender.
At our last photo shoot, I was playing around with my bottle of Mastic Tears Lemon Mastiha that a friend of mine gifted me a while back. Like the guys on the blog are all too aware, she knew I was a big fan of the Greek spirit, and this flavoured variation was a really cool twist.
As a refresher, mastiha is a Greek spirit that’s produced from the resin of the mastic tree, which is unique to the island of Chios. It’s found nowhere else in the world, so while it’s very popular in Greece, it’s not always that easy to find in North America. For additional mastiha cocktail recipes, check out my earlier posts here and here.
On that day, it just so happened that Sebastian brought over a fresh batch of his lavender tincture. It’s as if he read my mind when he created it because I’m well-known on the blog as an addict of anything lavender. Or purple. For proof, see here, here, and here. (Editor’s Note: Blanket ban on all future lavender drinks!)
With Sebastian’s tincture, we decided to experiment with the Mastic Tears Lemon and combine the two. Seb suggested adding some gin and I noticed some cardamom bitters lying around which I used to round everything out. The result was a surprisingly complex, slightly floral cocktail.
2 oz Mastic Tears Lemon Mastiha
½ oz gin
½ oz lemon juice
2 dashes cardamom bitters
2 sprays of lavender tincture
Take an empty coupe and spray it twice with the lavender tincture. Set aside and add remaining ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into the coupe and garnish with a lemon peel.
½ cup vodka
Handful of lavender buds
Using a bottle, combine the lavender buds with vodka and seal. Shake every couple days and after two weeks, strain out the buds. Pour a small portion of the tincture into a small spray bottle and use.
You can save the remainder of the infused vodka for future use or better yet, portion it in smaller spray bottles and gift them to some friends!
The cardamom bitters can overpower the drink, so be sure to not overdo it. The tincture adds a beautiful aroma on the nose and once you take a sip, you get a subtle lemon flavour from the mastiha (which is further enhanced by the fresh lemon juice) and a nice finishing note from the cardamom. Lastly, the gin serves as a counterbalance to the overall sweetness of the drink. I think it’s perfect for the warm months.
When I was in Greece last summer, mastiha was everywhere. Although it’s often sipped as an aperitif, it’s becoming increasingly popular in cocktails. Like I mentioned in my previous posts, it’s slowly becoming more recognized across the Atlantic, and I think that’s because people are realizing how refreshing it is, but more importantly – how versatile it can be.
The Mastic Mist is a melding of two of my favourite flavours and it’s a great gateway cocktail for anyone that’s never tried mastiha before.
As for the guys, I’m sure they’re rolling their eyes at yet another cocktail of mine that includes lavender, but hey, at least this one’s not purple…