How wonderful is it to have people over? I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love hosting a get-together. I like a nice girls-only party (we call it Liz Taylor Night in these parts) where you can watch Mean Girls on loop and drink gin and gossip.
I also love a good mixed party, which as I’m typing is reminding me of my very first mixed party. I was about 13, and it was sooo exciting because obvs my crush was going to be at the party and I spent endless hours daydreaming about the perfect moment where he would ask me to dance and I would gaze into his big brown eyes and we would be 2gether4Ever. (I can’t even hashtag that because in my day they didn’t have hashtags. You only had your Hilroy notebook to doodle on and practice your signature with his last name. Shit was real back then.)
What actually happened at the mixed party was the boys breakdanced to Rapper’s Delight, and us ladies ate ketchup chips and applied Bubblegum Bonne Bell. My crush DID actually speak to me at one point, to ask me if I had heard the new K-Ci & JoJo song and when I said no, HE LET ME BORROW HIS CD. It was AMAZING y’all. I listened to “All My Life” on permanent play for the weekend and at the next school dance he asked me to dance to it and we were like, totally a thing, and it was beautiful until he got a crush on my best friend and I got a crush on his best friend and it all fell apart. One day he went to McDonald’s for lunch without inviting me and We. Were. Over.
Anyway. Having parties is fun. It’s mostly fun because as I mentioned in our 5 à 7 post, it means you don’t have to leave your house. But other people have to leave theirs and while some strange people on this earth enjoy doing that, most people don’t. Especially in Canada. Especially in the dead of winter. So, you should probably acknowledge people did such a thing by giving them a little treat for coming.
This is an easy recipe for simple syrup, elevated with aromatics like lavender and rosewater. It takes all of five minutes to make, but it makes your guests feel special.
Start with 1 part of water to 2 parts of sugar in a pot. Heat until the sugar dissolves and remove from heat (we aren’t making a caramel here). Add a tablespoon of lavender and a teaspoon of rosewater to the syrup and mix. Let the lavender “steep” for a few minutes before you pour (and strain if you want the lavender bits gone) into individual jars (you can easily get these at the Dollar Store) or you can pour larger amounts into mason jars.
Feel free to be creative with your aromatics! I also made one with cinnamon, star anise, maple, and some juniper berries. You could try something fresher with citrus and cloves, or get that traditional tonic flavour with lemongrass.
Add a tablespoon of the syrup to a gin and soda, vodka soda, or make your tee-totalling guests feel special with mocktails! With a pretty ribbon and label on the jars, these little giveaways are just one more thing that will set you apart as a super-star host. How-to video below!
Ed.’s Note: The YouTube playlist in the creation of this blog was the best ever.