Lavender is one of my favorite flavors. It’s like rosemary’s sexier, more refined sister. It’s earthy and minty, and just a bit floral. Plus it’s so damn soothing. It’s like a Sade or Rhye song in scent form. And who knew it was so delicious when combined with almond milk and bourbon?
I was at an event for Good Eggs, the fabulous farmer to fridge service that delivers local produce, and tasted the lavender almond milk by Almond Milk LA. I was immediately smitten, and of course immediately thought it would make a delicious bourbon milk punch. So here’s the recipe for a wonderful and unexpected summer cocktail. If you want to really blow people’s minds, blend it with ice cream for a killer milk shake.
For 6 drinks
3 cups unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup lavender syrup
Combine all of the ingredients in a pitcher and chill. When ready to serve, add ice, stir, and pour.
INGREDIENTS (LAVENDER SYRUP)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup hot water
1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers, lightly crushed (I used a mortar and pestle)
Combine the ingredients in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, turn off the heat, and let the mixture sit for at least 20 minutes so the lavender can steep. Strain into a container and cool.
INGREDIENTS (HOMEMADE UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK)
Makes 3 cups of Milk
1 cup raw almonds, preferably organic
2 cups water, plus more for soaking
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 pinch of sea salt
Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about an inch of water. They will plump as they absorb water. Let stand, uncovered, overnight or up to 2 days. The longer the almonds soak, the creamier the almond milk.
Drain the almonds from their soaking water and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water.
Combine the almonds, vanilla seeds, pinch of salt, and water in a blender. Blend at the highest speed for 2 minutes until the almonds are a very fine meal and the liquid is opaque.
Line the strainer with cheese cloth, and place over a bowl. Pour the almond mixture into the strainer. Press all the almond milk from the almond meal. Gather the nut bag or cheese cloth around the almond meal and twist close. Squeeze and press with clean hands to extract as much almond milk as possible. If you want a thicker almond milk, you can add some of the almond meal back into the liquid.
Refrigerate almond milk. Store the almond milk in sealed containers in the fridge for up to two days. It will separate, so shake before drinking. Enjoy!