Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In Love with Lavender--- Lavender Simple Syrup

I've always loved the smell of lavender.  As an essential oil, it's great for calming nerves, inducing sleep, relieving migraines, and soothing skin.  Put a few drops of lavender oil in your bath and not only will your skin feel good, but you'll smell wonderful and feel relaxed.  Sachet's of lavender are not only beautiful, but make your clothing smell delicious and keep the moths at bay.
As a young girl, my neighbor had the most beautiful of English herb gardens.  I was always so moved and inspired by her medicinal and food herbs.  It's always been a dream of mine to have my own garden of that proportion.  This year I was able to get a bit of a start, when my dad built me my first raised bed.  We planted tomatoes and squash, but what has really taken over, during this horrendous Texas heat and drought are my herbs.  The parsley is amazing, the oregano wonderful, and my first lavender plant has produced many blossoms.

While I may adore the medicinal purposes of lavender, and find that it looks (and smells) beautiful hanging in the powder room, the whole purpose of my growing it was...well...more illicit.  You see, I had fallen in love with a particular martini from one of my favorite clubs.  Their Grape Lemonade Lavendar Martini made my mouth water thinking about it, and it's something I've wanted to reproduce at home.  Realizing that all it took was the addition of a Lavender simple syrup to my already-favorite martini inspired me to grow, then manufacture my own.
My first lavender harvest was used for the honest purpose of decoration and sachet.  I harvested the next round for cooking. 

In order to make lavender simple syrup, boil 4-5 Tablespoons of fresh lavender blossoms with 2 cups of water. 
Add 2 cups of sugar, cooking until it dissolved thoroughly.
Let steep for at least 20 minutes.  Filter the flowers out of the mixture.  Store in an airtight container.

While it made a wonderful martini, when added with Skyy Grape Vodka and Chick Fil-A Lemonade, this simple syrup would make a virgin lemonade even better.  Even Oprah likes the Lavender Lemonade!  It also was a fantastic addition to my green tea. 

My assistant was pleased as punch with her creation, as well, a bowl of well mixed mini marshmallows.