How to make flavored simple syrups–lavender syrup

Flavored syrups are easy to make. As long as you know how to make simple syrup, you can make lavender syrup. I make mine a little differently, though. I normally make my simple syrup using the “cold shake” method. You can watch this method in action here:

But you can’t make flavored syrups that way. For flavored syrups, you have to get all of the aromatics and flavors out of the flavoring agent, whether it’s ginger or mint or basil or rosemary or lavender. And that means you have to boil them first.

Let’s use lavender syrup as the example. If you can make this one, you can make any of them. When using herbs, I find that most flavored syrups just don’t have enough flavor. So use more herbs than you think you need. My rule is to fill the pot with herbs. Look at the picture. I stuff as much lavender in there as I can. And it doesn’t matter if you use the stalks or stems or leaves. Put it all in there.

Maybe you let your lavender plant get too big like I did. Yes, it turns into more of a bush or shrub rather than a plant. And it gets rather woody, too. So I had to cut off a whole bunch. There it went into the pot. All of it.

Lavender syrup: Fill the pot with lavender. Use more than you think. More than anyone else tells you to.

Then put  two and a half cups of water and two and a half cups of sugar in the pot, too. It’s simple syrup, so it’s one:one. If you want double simple syrup or rich simple syrup, use 2:1 sugar to water. Which means you would use two cups of sugar to every one cup of water.

And bring to a simmer. Don’t let it go crazy and boil hard. Just get it simmering. Then start pressing the leaves into the water and stirring. You want to get all of the leaves submerged. Every leaf should get cooked for about 10 minutes, maybe less, and then let cool.

WARNING: Let it cool.

Trust me here. If you don’t let it cool, you will have a mess and potentially harmful burns. I am still cleaning sugar off of my cabinets. Sheesh.

Once it’s cool, put all of it in a blender. Yes, the leaves and stalks, too. Blend the heck out of it. Then strain through a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup and strain again through your fine drink strainer to get even more bits out. I use mason jars to keep mine in the fridge. Most people say to keep it for a week, but you can keep it for longer than that. It will go bad eventually, but it takes a while.

The result of the large amounts of lavender, simmering gently, and blending lead to a highly aromatic syrup that’s good in everything.

Don’t use it with other highly aromatic ingredients, though. I probably wouldn’t try it with Chartreuse or Fernet or anything like that, but it’s good with lots of other stuff, especially gin. Mmm, gin.

Expect a few recipes in the coming months that feature lavender syrup. So trim your lavender bush and get crackin!

4 thoughts on “How to make flavored simple syrups–lavender syrup”

  1. I have so many misbehave herbs to put to good use with this idea. Thanks.
    I think you meant put water and sugar on the pot “Then put two and a half cups of water and two and a half cups of syrup in the pot, too”

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