Lavender syrup is a brilliant way to add a floral flavor with a touch of sweetness to a variety of beverages. It's easy and inexpensive to make at home and fills your kitchen with a garden-fresh fragrance. Lavender syrup will add an aromatic sweetness to cocktails such as the lavender martini, lavender Sapphire Collins, or lavender lemon drop martini. You can also drizzle some into your tea or lemonade for a floral twist, or simply top with seltzer for a homemade lavender soda.
This recipe is as easy as any other simple syrup. You just heat water, lavender buds, and sugar in a saucepan, let it simmer, and then it steep until cool. Once bottled, it stores in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. This same recipe can be used to make mixed herbal simple syrups as well.
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons lavender flowers (fresh or dried)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
Gather the ingredients.
Bring the water and lavender to a boil in a saucepan.
Reduce the heat and stir in the sugar until fully dissolved.
Simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool and steep for at least 1 hour or longer, until the flavor is to your liking. Strain out the lavender. Pour the lavender syrup into a bottle and keep in the refrigerator. Mix the syrup into your favorite drinks and enjoy.
What's the Secret to Getting a Purple Lavender Syrup?
Most of the time, the lavender syrup will not turn out purple in color. With most types of lavender, the color will actually be a golden brown or amber, sometimes with a hint of green. Whether homegrown or store-bought culinary lavender, the final color will be determined by how fresh or dry the buds are, as well as the plant variety. There can even be variations year to year with the same plants.
Generally, if you let the lavender steep longer, it will develop a deeper, more intense color. The flavor is a more important factor, however, so strain it when the taste reaches an intensity you enjoy. If you really want a purple syrup, stir in two drops of red and one drop of blue liquid food coloring, either into the water or after the syrup cools. Using a little extra red produces the light purple of lavender. (Purple gel food coloring tends to make a dark purple—or nearly black—syrup.)
- The recipe yields just over 1 cup. If you would like to make more, simply double or triple all of the ingredients.
- When choosing lavender, use buds that have not opened and flowered. For the best aromatic qualities, the buds should be fully purple but still tightly wrapped.
- You can also use dried lavender, which can be found at most natural food grocers as well as online.
- When shopping, look for culinary lavender. Make sure that homegrown lavender has not been sprayed with pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
- Use other types of sugar, such as palm or raw sugar, if you prefer.
- Add rosemary to this syrup; the two herbs are perfect companions, and the combination can be used in any drink that calls for one or the other.
- Honey can be used as a portion of the sweetener to make lavender honey syrup. It adds a darker background note for the bright florals and is ideal for mixing into drinks with whiskey, rum, and other dark spirits. To make the syrup, use 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup honey in the recipe.
- Switch from lavender to any other herb or combination of herbs. Basil, chamomile, elderflower, lemongrass, and mint work really well, and simple syrups are also a fantastic way to preserve cut herbs that are beginning to lose their freshness.
How to Store Lavender Syrup
- Refrigerate the lavender simple syrup in a well-sealed jar or airtight container for about two weeks. Check for spoilage before using.
- For longer storage, keep lavender simple syrup in an airtight container in the freezer (if using glass, leave plenty of headspace to allow for expansion). Because of the sugar ratio, the syrup will not freeze completely but will be good for several months.