Lavender coolers

“Come over and sit with us on our porch,” wrote Heal in an email to me. “We’ve made a most excellent beverage out of our weeds, and we think you should try it.”

The most excellent beverage turned out to be a simple syrup infused with lemon balm, served over ice in a glass topped off with a healthy dose of Gerolsteiner sparkling water and a sprig of mint. I was entranced: it was elegant, refreshing and disarmingly tasty.

“I need the recipe,” I said.

Lavender in sugar“It’s easy,” said Heal. “You boil some sugar and water together on the stove, then throw in the lemon balm and let it steep overnight, then you come downstairs in the morning and it’s all made for you.”

“I bet that would work really well with basil,” I said. “Or sage. Or lavender.”

Maggie and Heal and I nodded together, lost in reverie about herbalicious non-alcoholic cocktails.

The very next day, I whipped up a batch of the lavender persuasion, using a combination of dried lavender from last year and fresh lavender from the prodigious set of blooms on my revived plant. Every time I fix myself a glass, it feels like a little dinner party at my house.

Lavender coolersLavender Coolers

1 c. sugar (or, if you’re not of the sugar persuasion, substitute Splenda for an equally lovely, no-cal treat)
2 c. water
1 TBSP dried lavender and 2 TBSP fresh lavender, or 2 TBSP dried lavender, or 4 TBSP fresh lavender (depending on what you have on hand)
One bottle unflavored sparkling water

  1. Stir the sugar and water together in a saucepan. Add the lavender flowers and bring to a boil. Boil for a few minutes before bringing the temperature down to a high simmer. Stir occasionally.
  2. When all the sugar has dissolved, simmer about 10 to 15 minutes more and remove from heat.
  3. Cool, strain and serve over ice, topped with the sparkling water. Each glass should contain about one part syrup to three parts water.

This is my post for this week’s edition of Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted this week by Rachel from Rachel’s Bite. Please stop by to read the full round-up of recipes!

Update: For those of you who have been clicking through to check out the round-up, just a note that there’s been a bit of a delay in Rachel’s post. She’ll have it up soon, though!

17 Responses to “Lavender coolers”

  1. 1 Yolanda Elizabet June 17, 2007 at 2:45 am

    Sounds delicious, I’m going to try the lavender and lemon balm cocktails. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. 2 Christa June 17, 2007 at 7:27 am

    That sounds delightfully refreshing, Genie. And simple to make too! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  3. 3 Kalyn June 17, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Wow, very interesting. I agree, it sounds like a lot of herbs would work in a recipe like this. Sounds very refreshing.

  4. 4 inadvertentgardener June 17, 2007 at 10:08 am

    Yolanda Elizabet, that sounds like a great combination — putting the two together would be delicious.

    Christa, it’s a wonderful post-work chill-out mocktail — and so much easier than I expected. Really delicious. I hope you enjoy it!

    Kalyn, I’m particularly interested in trying sage, especially now that my sage is getting to the point where it’s ready to go.

  5. 5 Christina June 17, 2007 at 11:20 am

    You’ve inspired me–I’m so going to do this with lemon thyme. Yum!

  6. 6 steven June 17, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Would it be bad to put a tiny bit of really good gin or white rum in this?

  7. 7 inadvertentgardener June 17, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Christina, lemon thyme is a great idea!

    Steven, I don’t think it would be bad at all…probably very, very good, in fact. I bet a little good vodka would do some magic, as well. But come on, now…gardeners don’t need alcohol to have a good time! ;-)

  8. 8 Lydia June 17, 2007 at 11:46 am

    All of my lavender is in bloom in the garden this morning, so I think it’s time to try this. I also have lemon thyme and lots of mint and basil. Hmmmm.

  9. 9 teach77 June 17, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    This sounds amazing. Must admit to being tempted to make it into a cocktail, as Steven suggested!

  10. 10 Gotta Garden June 17, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    This sounds very delicious! I was thinking how like YE of Bliss this sounds and that she would love it…when I see she has already been here! A week or so ago, I attended a talk on edible flowers and my eyes were opened! The possibilities! And, now, I can eat and drink! Yes! This is great!

    P.S. I found out last week that you can eat radish leaves! Who knew! (at least I didn’t…I just thought they went into the compost!) They tasted like…radishes! A bit peppery and hot…not bad! Well, having said that, I saw on a website that they are considered bitter and not very tasty. Hmmm, maybe we just had odd tastebuds that day.

  11. 11 inadvertentgardener June 17, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Lydia, mine is totally blooming, too, which reminds me…I need to cut some flowers and start drying them so I have them for the winter.

    Teach77, I encourage cocktails of all sorts. Let me know how it turns out!

    Gotta Garden, I definitely encourage you to give a try. And thanks for the tip on the radish leaves — I had no idea, either!

  12. 12 Katiez June 18, 2007 at 1:00 am

    I can’t wait to try that! I have tons of Lemon Balm (I can’t seem to keep it under control) and lavender!
    Great idea…and pretty!

  13. 13 inadvertentgardener June 18, 2007 at 9:19 am

    Katiez, they are pretty — quite elegant! My mint isn’t big enough yet to sprig it as decoration, but soon…very soon…

  14. 14 Ms. Tart June 18, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Yum, that sounds totally wonderful. We bought a little lavender plant, but I don’t think it will produce flowers this year. The lemon balm is out of control, though. I will definitely make some lemon balm iced tea soon.

  15. 15 Katie July 5, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    That sounds wonderful – perfect on a humid summer afternoon.

  16. 16 inadvertentgardener July 5, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    Katie, it really is delicious. I still need to try the sage version!

  1. 1 Lavender Cocktails « Teaching and Learning and a Wee Bit of Cooking Trackback on June 22, 2007 at 12:17 pm

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