This post was last updated on June 21st, 2015 at 02:07 pm
This syrup may be the most popular herbal syrup by far. Most of us are obsessed by the beauty and the fragrance of this Mediterranean herb. Its popularity has exploded in the United States in the last couple of decades. We can now find many varieties of English lavender, Spanish lavender, and even yellow lavender. Back in the 1970s when my mom had an herb business and grew about 1/4 acre of herbs, she had a difficult time finding even one English lavender plant and now it is commonly available at Lowes and Home Depot. It is “a thing” indeed.
You can make syrup out of any of the lavender varieties and I encourage you to experiment and find your favorites. However, most people will be most satisfied experimenting with various subspecies of the English lavenders — Lavandula angustifolia. This is the lavender used most for culinary purposes. However, there is even great variety among this grouping of lavenders. Some have more distinct flavors (Munstead) and one is used mainly for oil (Grosso). If you are planting lavender with the purpose of enjoying the flavor, be sure to taste around before committing to a specific variety or sub-variety. Here are some culinary lavenders: Munstead, Vera, Hidcote, and Sachet. You may find these at a local independent nursery or follow those links to an online nursery Mountain Valley Growers, located near us actually, with a great selection of plants by mail order.
The Color of the Lavender Syrup: What?
As you experiment with lavender syrup, a key question may pop into your mind: Why is my lavender syrup not lavender?
Your lavender syrup will likely have a light brown color, like an herbal tea. I have seen some syrups that were actually lavender in color and most of those had a natural color added. I have seen claims that lavender syrup will be lavender in color if you use fresh lavender but that has not been the case with any varieties I have tried. There very well may be a lavender out there that would make lavender-colored syrup. You might even like the flavor. Keep tasting and experimenting to find out.
Lavender Syrup Ingredients
- One part lavender (fresh or dried), one part water, and 1/2 part sugar (or honey).
Play with the proportions but these are the basic proportions I use here. You want to get as much herb into the water as possible to make a syrup with an intense flavor.
Lavender Syrup Ingredients
Making the syrup is simple. You can use this method for making herbal syrups of all sorts. You can use fresh or dried lavender.
- Place lavender and sugar in a saucepan.
- Bring water to boil. Pour over lavender mixture and stir. Cover with a lid.
- Allow the mixture to sit for an hour or, better yet, overnight.
- Strain out the herb and retain the liquid. This is your syrup.
Store the syrup in your refrigerator. It will keep for a month. It is a fun and handy ingredient to have around to add a pop of lavender to any recipe in which you might add water. Here are some ideas:
- Add the syrup to carbonated water for a quick lavender soda.
- Add the syrup to lemon water for an almost instant lavender lemonade.
- Add it to hot water with a squeeze of lemon for a night time tea.
- Drizzle it over a butter cake to make an extravagant lavender cake.
- Use it as a mixer in a cocktail.