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Giada de Laurentiis Just Revealed the Secret Ingredient She Uses To Make Summer Cocktails Sing

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Learning how to make cocktails is hard. That’s probably why canned cocktails and hard seltzer are so popular these days. You get the fun of a drink without the stress of making one. But there are ways to make great-tasting cocktails without a lot of complicated techniques. Sometimes you just need one ingredient to elevate the rest of what’s in your glass, and Giada De Laurentiis just revealed one of her mixology secrets: she uses lavender honey to add sweetness and floral flavor to her summer cocktails.

De Laurentiis calls for lavender honey in her Honey Lavender Gin Spritzers, which are also made with gin, lemon juice, and vanilla soda. We like this Lavender Honey from Savannah Bee Company.

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Courtesy of Savannah Bee Company.

Savannah Bee Company Lavender Honey $24.00 Buy now Sign Up

De Laurentiis says “the lavender honey adds something special” to these cocktails, giving them “a lovely sort of floral quality.” However, if you can’t find lavender honey, she says citrus honey could be used too.

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Courtesy of Bee Harmony.

Bee Harmony American Raw Orange Blossom Honey $13.99 Buy now Sign Up

As for the vanilla soda, we don’t see that too often. However, De Laurentiis’ recommended brand Dry is available on Amazon. 

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Courtesy of Dry.

DRY Non-Alcoholic Vanilla Botanical Bubbly 12-Pack $28.49 Buy now Sign Up

If you don’t have access to vanilla soda, you could try using seltzer water mixed with some vanilla bean paste. Just add a little bit to start with, then taste and adjust as needed.

You don’t have to worry about what to do with all that lavender honey when you’re done making cocktails, either. It’s surprisingly versatile, adding a floral sweetness to everything from, yes, cocktails, but also hot and iced tea, baked goods, viniagrettes and marinades (pair with herbes de Provence and olive oil). It even shines when simply drizzled over your favorite breakfast dishes like pancakes, waffles, buttered slices of toast, and more. Every time you add some lavender honey to whatever it is you’re drinking or eating, you’ll feel as sophisticated as Giada.

In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:

Watch: How to Make Watermelon Mango Salsa

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