Sweet and soothing methods
By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
A little trip to the neighbouring gulf island, Mayne Island, last week ended with my coming home with jars of locally made jam and something a little different: lavender syrup! I wasn’t sure just exactly what lavender syrup was, so I asked the merchant and she said it’s basically maple syrup minus the maple. She recommended putting the lavender syrup on pancakes and in coffee or tea. And while I am sure those suggested options would be quite delicious, they wouldn’t be my go-to. Nevertheless, I bought a bottle with the intention of inventing some sweet and soothing recipes back at home. But first, how do you make lavender syrup? Using a saucepan, heat up one cup of water, three tablespoons of lavender flowers (fresh or dried), and two cups of granulated sugar. Let everything simmer, then steep until cooled—and pour into a glass bottle. This same recipe can also be used to make simple herbal syrups that are blended.
Lavender Lime Gin and Tonic
As simple as it sounds, mix together two shots of pink gin, tonic water on ice, a squeeze of lime, and a dash of lavender syrup, and voila! A refreshing and floral spin on the classic gin and tonic using lavender syrup!
Lavender French 75
A subtle lavender flavour with the bubbly and herbal hints known to accompany a French 75. Mix one-part gin, one-part champagne, a squeeze of lemon, and of course, the lavender syrup into a cocktail tumbler full of ice.
Lavender Hot Chocolate and Whipped Cream
Because what sounds better than a dollop of lavender-flavoured whipped cream on top of a lavender-flavoured hot chocolate? How about curling up to an excellent book with a delicious cup of lavender-flavoured hot chocolate and whipped cream?
For the whipped cream: combine one cup of heavy whipping cream and one tablespoon of dried lavender flowers in a small pot and heat to a boil. Stir often, then remove from heat. Let steep until room temperature, then strain out the lavender and refrigerate cream for several hours until chilled. Next mix cream, two tablespoons of powdered sugar, and half a teaspoon of vanilla extract with a mixer or whisk. Whip for several minutes until soft peaks form.
For the hot chocolate: mix milk, cocoa powder, and lavender syrup into a saucepan and heat over medium heat, whisking frequently until warm. Add some chocolate chips and whisk constantly until the chips melt and are combined into the milk.
Lavender Rhubarb Cobbler
This one is a favourite of mine! Cobblers are easy to make and an excellent way to use up fruit that’s just about to go bad. Cut up some strawberries and rhubarb into a casserole dish and drizzle with lavender syrup. Next, eyeball one-part flour (gluten-free or otherwise), to two-parts oats, add in some cinnamon, sugar, and a small pinch of baking powder. Whisk together and cut in half a cup or so of margarine or room temperature butter. Combine until a crumbly mix is formed. Top the chopped fruit with the crumbly mix and bake at 400 degrees for around 35 minutes, or until the fruit is soft and aromatic. Who needs measurements?