Photography by Annabelle Waugh Image by: Photography by Annabelle Waugh
The key to enjoying lavender in food and drinks is pairing it with the right flavours. It goes very nicely with a bit of sweetness, making it an ideal ingredient to infuse a simple syrup.
Here's how to make lavender syrup:
In small saucepan, combine 1 cup each water and granulated sugar; stir in 3 tbsp fresh or dried lavender.
Bring to boil, stirring often; remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature.
Strain out lavender. Since the syrup is clear, tint with a tiny bit of lavender food colouring gel, if desired.
Refrigerate in airtight jar for up to 2 weeks.
Tip: If you don't grow it yourself, you can buy it dried in the spice aisle of many grocery stores and health-food stores.
In the Test Kitchen, our favourite places to add lavender syrup are in sweet-tart cocktails featuring gin or vodka. (Must-try instant lavender lemonade: Mix together equal parts lavender syrup and lemon juice; serve over ice topped up with sparkling water.)
Recently, there has been a lot of buzz in our office about using lavender syrup to sweeten a latte, as they do at Café Medina in Vancouver.
Fashion & Beauty director Julia McEwen was shocked when she tried it. "I like to think of myself as a coffee connoisseur, but when it comes to lattes, I usually take a pass because I'm not terribly fond of milky brews," says McEwen. "That all changed after one sip of my first lavender latte. I am now a born-again latte drinker."
Make your own latte or cup of coffee at home and sweeten it to taste with a spoonful of your homemade syrup. It has a very unusual but delicious flavour. The floral notes from the syrup are subtle, but they add an exotic flair to an otherwise everyday cup of coffee.
Looking for more tasty drink recipes? Try some of our delicious summer cocktails.