GardenRant Cocktail Hour: The Pilot


Badge_CocktailHour When we (Elizabeth and Amy) get together, we rummage through our respective liquor cabinets to see if we have anything new and interesting to drink that we can try out on the other.  But seeing as how we live across the country from each other—Elizabeth in Buffalo, Amy in California—this doesn't actually happen very often.

Except on Skype.  It's actually very pleasant to sit down together with our laptops and our webcams, mix a drink, and have a chat.  There's always plenty to talk about when it comes to GardenRant, and most of it does call for a good stiff drink.

There's just one thing missing from our cyber-cocktail hour, and that's you!  If only you, our readers, could join us for a drink.  Just imagine how perfect that would be.

Well, imagine no longer.  Thanks to this groovy software called VodBurner, we're now recording our Skype drinking sessions so that you can enjoy them, too.  Now, we're still figuring out the technology, so don't get all film school on us.  We'll get it down—and we plan to get out in the garden once in a while. (And who knows!  If you're into Skype, maybe we'll invite you to join us on camera sometime!)

We hope you'll gather some ingredients, mix a drink, and settle in with us.  If you'd like to drink what we're drinking, you'll need:

Lavender-honey simple syrup (recipe below)

G'Vine gin

A lemon

In the case of Amy's drink, Lavender Dry Soda, a lovely, not-too-sweet soda with pure lavender flavor that works great in cocktails.

Lavender sprigs and/or yellow pansies to garnish

(recipes below)

Here, then, is our pilot episode.  In this installment:  Gin and lavender drinks, profanity, and hyacinths.


Amy's Lavender Gin & Tonic

Pour 1-2 oz gin over ice. (a botanical gin like G'vine, or any gin that contains some lavender, is ideal)

Squeeze lemon juice over ice and gin.

Fill glass with Lavender Dry Soda.

Garnish with lavender sprigs.

Sample restaurant's Honey Lavender martini (modified by Eliz)

1 part gin (I also like G'vine.)

1 part honey lavender simple syrup (boil sugar, honey, water (2-1 water to sweet stuff; add a bunch of lavender; let steep an hour; strain)

Juice of 2-3 lemons

Shake with ice, strain, pour into martini glass and garnish with lemon slice studded with a viola blossom. You don't really need a premium gin—Sample does not use one—but I like the way a botanical gin's flavor shines through whatever you blend it with. I have also included a sugar/honey mix, not all honey, which they use, and I find too strong.

Coming soon: drinks with wild hibiscus flowers, bison grass-infused vodka, and more. For the Ball comment we discuss in this video, check this post


  1. Hello ladies! My apologies for posting this as a comment, but I could not find an email address anywhere on the site. My sister and I launched, and in August, launched our affiliate program ( I wanted to check with you to see if you participate in affiliate programs. If no, would you be willing to review our software and give us your feedback?

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  2. This is the first compelling reason I’ve found to plant pansies in my home garden. Love the drink-decor tip from Elizabeth. Am so checking into that lavender soda and q tonic, too. Amy’s drink was so fast and yet looked so tasty!

    Laughing about the George Ball comment. Seriously? He ain’t got nuthin’ better to do than come onto people’s privately-owned blogs and chide them for their language?

    Bulbs are like a crazy statement of hope in the future. You take these tiny little lumpy brown things and stick them in the ground and just pray no foraging gopher or raccoon’s gonna dig them up, and pray you’ll remember where they were and not set a pot or something there, and then somehow, against all odds, they come up in spring and surprise the socks off of you.

    I take photos of where I stick clients’ bulbs so I don’t dig them up accidentally, but in my own garden I just plunk and pray and enjoy the element of surprise.

    Need something to keep us all entertained in winter…

  3. I’ve made a martini similar to that second one. I only made a syrup of lavendar and lemongrass and skipped the lemon juice. Vermouth, gin, and that syrup was heavenly.

  4. Gen–you’re in town, so you are totally coming over for cocktail hour one of these days! and Jean Ann, you too! But maybe not in person. The beta version of Skype promised multi-person videoconferencing, but if you know how many technical kinks Eliz and I had to work through to get this far, you’d know that getting three or more on at once is probably but a faraway dream. So we’ll do a one-on-one.

    Benjamin–we take advantage of you even when you’re not drunk. Haven’t you noticed?

    Cheers, everyone!

  5. I would love to join the party, but alas, I am pregnant! *sulk*

    But on the bright side, the fancy chocolate martini that I had as my farewell-to-alcohol drink was memorable enough to enjoy all nine months.

    Enjoy your beverages!

  6. This is clearly the best thing I’ve seen all day.Garden looks crappy(as opposed to shitty) baseball games don’t go my way, and ants have invaded the 2nd floor bathroom . Howver, all is forgotten after this splendid virtual cocktail party..cheers !

  7. This does not sound like something James Bond would drink. And did he ask for it shaken, not stirred, or stirred, not shaken?

  8. Tibs, I do agree that Bond would eschew our girlie botanical drinks. His loss. He needs to get in touch with his feminine side-BADLY.

    LKK, YES, I am so on board.

    Layanee and Jean Ann, let’s do an episode! I know you gals are up for it.

    Kaviani, your drink sounds superb.

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