Few scents are as universally appreciated as lavender. It’s adored for it’s color, aroma and taste! The latter is what I’m most excited about lately.
A while back, I was lucky enough to discover one of the most delicious cocktails EVER, the “Lavender Vesper.” Upon further investigation, I discovered the origins of this tasty bev are fairly recent. Created by and for 007 in Casino Royale, the Vesper Martini is essentially 2:1 gin and vodka, with a splash of Lillet blanc aperitif and a twist of lemon. Sounds kind of basic, Bond!
The Lavender version (recipe below) is just one example of the magic lavender simple syrup creates when added to any of your favorite drinks, with or without alcohol!
So, equipped with a new goal, I set out to DIY some lavender simple syrup to recreate my new favorite and maybe perk up the old ones!
If you are unfamiliar, or haven’t tried your hand at making simple syrup, it’s the easiest! It’s equal parts sugar and water. Most sugar alternatives (honey, agave nectar, stevia, etc.) can be substituted in equal measure. Smaller batches are easier to work with, and a great opportunity to experiment with flavors.
First, pour your water into a pot, then add equal parts sugar. So, if you’re doing a small batch, let’s say 2 cups water and 2 cups of sugar.
It will be cloudy at first, so stir and allow it to mix thoroughly while it simmers and you’re waiting for it to boil. If you are making a smaller batch, you can add the lavender directly into the sugar/water mixture and then use a fine strainer to remove it before bottling. In this case, I created a cute little sachet so I wouldn’t need to strain all of it. Worked like a charm!
Allow to boil for approximately five minutes, then let cool completely. The longer your lavender is allowed to “steep,” the stronger the flavor will be, so taste it before you declare it finished so you’re happy with the end results. Also remember that the longer it cooks, the thicker your syrup will be, so with smaller batches, like the 2:2, no more than about 30 minutes. If you’re looking for a stronger flavor, it’s better to simply add more lavender.
Pour into a clean/sanitary container that will seal when closed. Don’t fret about the odd lavender bud that remains, it just makes your finished product all the more authentic! The syrup will last longer in the fridge (up to a month!), but when it starts forming crystals, it’s past it’s prime. If you’re doing it right, though, you won’t have a single drop left!
Not only can you add this delicious simple syrup to cocktails, but you can also mix with: coffee (lavender latte? Yes, please!), all kinds of teas, liven up your water, or get mad fancy and enhance your lemonade like a pro! *insert sassy snapping*
I’ve included a recipe for a delicious Lavender Vesper below – make sure you grab a fun (purple, maybe?) chilled martini glass to serve it in!
DIY Lavender Simple Syrup!
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons lavender or more, if preferred
- Add 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar (or any 1:1 amount) to a saucepan.
- Let come to a boil over medium, stirring often.
- Once the syrup begins boiling, add lavender and continue boiling for 5-30 minutes. (Taste after 5 minutes for strength and preference).
- Strain lavender out and let syrup cool completely before bottling and storing in the refrigerator for up to a month.
- 2 oz. Gin Highly recommend Hendrick's Midsummer Solstice
- 1 oz. Vodka
- 1/2 oz. Lavender Simple Syrup adjust for your preference
- Mix two parts gin and one part vodka and lavender simple syrup to taste, stir over ice.
- Strain into chilled (purple!) martini glass and serve.
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