I admit that when we first started growing lavender I was quite reluctant to add lavender to my kitchen. But here's the secret: it's all in the variety! Lavenders in the angustifolia family or also referred to as "true" lavenders are best for recipes. More like an herb than a flower. Try specific cultivars like "Royal Velvet", "New Zealand Blue", "Buena Vista" and "French Fields" which are among my favorites. As summer approaches here are some of my favorite recipes to try:
1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice or 8 large lemons
4 cups water
Lavender Simple Syrup
Prepare Lavender Simple Syrup from recipe above. Mix fresh lemon juice and water together. Stir in the cooled simple syrup. Refrigerate and serve over ice. Garnish with lavender sprigs and lemon wedges.
To make into a cocktail, add 1 shot vodka and top with seltzer water.
Lavender Simple Syrup
1 TBS dried culinary lavender buds or 3 TBS fresh culinary lavender
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Lavender Lemonade Cocktail
From our friends at Double Circle Spirits
2oz Double Circle Spirits Lavender Vodka (made with our lavender!)
2oz Lemonade Mix (regular or sugar-free)
2oz Club Soda or Lemon Flavored Sparkling Water
Fill a tall glass with ice and lemon slices. Add Lavender Vodka and lemonade, stir to combine. Top with club soda or sparkling water. Garnish with a lavender sprig and a lemon wedge.
Lavender And White chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup dried lavender buds
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
12oz white chocolate chunks (optional)
Add cream, milk, sugar, lavender and salt to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture becomes warm and begins to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks in separate bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon Remove from heat, add in vanilla extract and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 60 minutes while the lavender seeps in.
After an hour, strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve and discard the lavender. Add the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate until cold, at least 30 to 60 minutes. Once it’s cold, add the mixture to your ice
cream maker and churn according to directions. A few minutes before it’s finished churning, add in the chopped white chocolate and top with a sprinkle of lavender.
Recipe Adapted from: How Sweet Eats and New York Times
Oregon Gin & Tonic: Lavender, Marionberry & Honey
2oz lemon juice
2oz simple syrup (see below)
Lavender, Honey, & Berry Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup Fresh Marionberries or blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Local Honey
2 TBS Dried Culinary Lavender
Simple Syrup: crush berries slightly. Combine berries, sugar, water, and honey and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat and add lavender. Cover and let sit about an hour. Strain out berries and lavender. Pour into glass container. Refrigerate. (will keep about a week in fridge)
For each glass: fill with ice and add gin and lemon juice. Stir. Spoon in simple syrup let settle to bottom of glass. Top off with tonic water if desired and garnish with lavender sprigs.
To make as mocktail, simply omit the gin.