Muddle Mint. Add vodka, lavender berry syrup*, Cointreau, lemon juice and bitters. Shake well with ice and strain over fresh ice. Top with Sparkling water and garnish with a sprig of Lavender.
*Lavender Berry Syrup
¼ cup Agave
¼ cup fresh Blueberries
¼ cup fresh Blackberries
Rind of 1 lemon
1 cup water
2 oz Monin Lavender Syrup
3 dashes of rose water
Bring water, berries, lemon rinds and agave to a boil on low heat until the berries start to pop and color the syrup. Cool and stir in rose water and lavender syrup. Store in the refrigerator until use.
We all have those stories and memories… I remember being bullied in my youth by “villains” who left me feeling defenseless, broken and less than I was created to be. But regrettably when I look back on my past, I also remember being the bully. This probably is a much more difficult memory to reconcile with. Looking back now I see how in both roles I lacked role models that spoke out against bullying. I have often asked myself questions to answers that might have perhaps made my story different. - What if the leaders in my life had taught me to stand up for myself in the face of childhood terror and demeaning words and punches? What if I had met those who threatened any security I felt, or affection that was bestowed upon me, with love and empathy instead of fears that were masked by my own hurtful words and actions towards others? What if I as a South Asian child growing up in the 1980s had been given opportunities for open and honest conversations with those I looked up to, teaching me that the friend factor always won over the hate factor? Why is it all so much clearer on hindsight?
My latest cocktail the Friend Factor was created with especially intentional passion and reflection. It was also created in honor of the Friend Movement, a team of passionate individuals who are dedicated to promoting friendship through the arts and social media, mediums closest to my heart. “The Friend Movement was created to help show positive anti-bully images through art and media. Images of people of all ages, races, genders, sexualities, abilities, and spiritualities that invoke inspiration & conversation. Friend movement inspires people to prevent bullying by enabling them to be a better friend.” – www.friendmovement.com
Friend Movement points us towards the secret I had been searching for throughout my youth- that the answer to our brokenness acquired from bullying is indeed the friend factor. And that friend factor is non other than compassion.
The hero liquor of the Friend Factor is Equality Vodka, which was created for one simple agenda: EQUALITY for all. The very purchase of Equality Vodka makes a statement and supports this cause. (Look out for my upcoming cocktail creation this Fall, “Child of the 70s” also by Equality Vodka.)
Lavender lends its color and flavor to the Friend Factor. The name lavender comes from the Latin lavare, “to wash,” since it was used by the British in the bath waters. Its calming and soothing properties, is symbolic of our mission. Compassion allows us to release the past as it is washed away from us by love and the power to change the world though it.
The essences of lavender, is married with dark berries, which symbolize healing and protection, as well as lemon, which has long since been the symbol of purification, love and friendship. Mint denotes wisdom, which we gain from our experiences. Our drink is topped off with orange liqueur and bitters. Orange offers us emotional strength in difficult times. It empowers us to rise up from despair and recover with warmth and happiness.
The Friend Factor was therefore created to be more than a sweet, floral cocktail with bitter hints. It is my hope that with every sip, you might celebrate every experience good and bad, that has yielded wisdom, and make a statement against hate and bullying. The Friend Factor reminds us that COMPASSION conquers all and love wins out.
Taste the Friend Factor
Join the Friend Movement at Spice Affair, Beverly Hills on Saturday October 24th at the 2nd annual Stardust Soiree. The black tie dinner and concert fundraiser will feature star performers including The Summit, Frenchie Davis, and Ryan Boone to name a few. Get your tickets today!
Dress up for the evening, attend a sparkling party and sip on the Friend Factor which will be proudly served that evening. Join the Friend Movement and be a friend.