A delicately sweet and refreshing mocktail made with honeysuckle infused syrup, sparkling water and fresh lemon. It is the perfect thing for sipping on a warm summer evening. Feel free to sub in other seasonal flowers like rose or lavender if honeysuckle is not available.
Stillness • Drinks • SUMMER
Moments of stillness are essential.
It need not be very long. Just a mere second or two to inhale the spray of fragrance as you slice into an orange or a brief pause on the doorstep to feel the wind or the sun on your skin before stepping inside. It’s these small moments of refuge from the busyness of our lives that center us, connect us to the world around us and remind us that we are alive.
But such moments are easily lost if we don’t intentionally create space for them. As a chronic busy-aholic, I’ve been making a concerted to do just that — forming daily routines built around moments for stillness. It’s things like going for a walk right after breakfast or taking ten minutes after lunch to walk through the garden.
But my favorite new routine is making up a special drink after dinner to take out on the back porch and sip slowly, feet up, just listening the sounds of evening settling in and basking in the last golden rays of sunshine.
In the cooler months, it’s always tea after dinner. But this time of year, I’m all about the bubbles. I do occasionally like a good cocktail, but mostly alcohol doesn’t sit very well and my husband doesn’t drink, so I like to find something we can enjoy together; something that feels just as exciting and special as a good glass of wine or a G&T.
This is one of the drinks we enjoy all summer through, subbing in different floral infused syrups as the season shifts and new flowers come into bloom. This is the first year I’ve done honeysuckle and now I will never go a year without it. The flavor is entirely nectar — soft and delicate with a deep honeyed sweetness that gets lifted up by the lemon. It’s the champagne of mocktails. Not to mention that going out and harvesting the honeysuckle yourself is a deeply pleasurable activity, inhaling the sweet fragrance of the blossoms as the sun filters down and warms your skin. It’s as though every time I take a sip, I’m back there plucking the blossoms into my basket with the scent of honeysuckle enveloping me like a cloud.
If you happen to have any syrup leftover, it’s also absolutely delightful added to cakes or custards. Honeysuckle creme brûlée anyone? Now, go forth and pluck your blossoms, mix your drink and sit back for a well deserved moment of calm at the end of your busy day. Cheers!
prep time: 45 minutes
For the syrup
1.5 cups (350 ml) water
1 cup (340 g) honey
3 cups (about 85 g) honeysuckle blossoms
1 lemon, thinly sliced
For the spritzer:
1 cup (240 ml) sparkling water or club soda
2-3 tbsp honeysuckle syrup
squeeze of lemon juice
lemon slices and honeysuckle blossoms to garnish
Place the water in a small saucepan and heat until just boiling. Remove from the heat and add the honey, stirring to dissolve.
Place the honeysuckle blossoms and lemon in a jar or small pitcher or bowl. Cover with the honey and water mixture, making sure that all of the blossoms are submerged. Cover the container loosely and allow to infuse for 4 hours.
Strain the mixture through a mesh sieve into a very clean jar (I like to use a swing top bottle like those below). Cap and store in the fridge until ready to use. Will keep for 5 days.
To prepare the spritzer, fill a glass with ice and add the sparkling water, syrup and lemon juice. Stir well to combine, then garnish with a few lemon slices and honeysuckle sprigs.
You can also freeze the syrup in ice cube trays if you don’t think you’ll use it up in 5 days time.
Feel free to sub in other flowers or fragrant herbs in place of the honeysuckle.
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