Now that Summer has officially arrived, we're craving drinks that conjure the essence of the season. Who better than photographer Jamie Beck, author of the forthcoming Flowers of Provence, to grace us with a recipe for a drink that transports us to the Côte d'Azur?
The Luberon region of Provence in the South of France, where I live, is probably as famous for its endless rows of purple lavender as it is for sunshine. It’s only natural then, in a culture that embraces local products, that the French would have adapted their own version of the classic mediterranean Spritz.
I first discovered the refreshing cocktail in the tiny hilltop village of Saignon where you can find 360 degree bird’s eye views of such surrounding lavender fields, cherry orchards, and rows of summer wheat. In the center of the village is a quaint cobblestone square, where under the shade of a tree, you can have a drink at the little cafe and watch the afternoon slowly pass by to the sound of the square’s central ancient fountain. On the chalk board’s daily offering is a Provençal Spritz made simply in a glass filled with ice mixing Prosecco, liqueur artisanale Lavande, liqueur artisanale Thym, topped off with a splash of Perrier.
Of course, it would be delightful to dress your glass up with a few fresh sprigs of lavender and thyme!
Don’t let this drink fool you though, it’s stronger than it appears! Take your time to drink it and embrace the slow life.
The perfect glass for a casual afternoon cocktail is the tumbler from the 'Acqua e Vino' family: a beautiful, glass with a ruby red band. Mix a pitcher all at once in the blue-banded carafe and stretch the afternoon into the evening.