In the past couple of years, I have gotten the chance to work with some really wonderful spices. It’s always fun to rediscover old favorites in new and interesting ways, and play with delightful new spices. A few months ago we got in a spice that really wowed me: Ultra Blue Lavender. This gorgeous, deep violet lavender had incredibly strong color and fragrance, that made our normally wonderful lavender pale in comparison.
Lavender is a fantastic spice to cook with. It is a key ingredient in herbs de provence, a classic seasoning for lamb, poultry and vegetables. It is a classic flavoring for tea, and a wonderful addition to pastries, shortbreads, panna cottas and crème brulees. And of course one of my favorites: Lavender soda.
I decided to whip up a quick simple syrup and give my own lavender soda a shot. Simple syrup is a great way to steep at that lavender flavor into an easy to use addition to pastry, drinks, and desserts. And its also, well, simple to make.
For this syrup I steeped two heaped tablespoons of lavender with 2 cups boiling water and let it steeped for 10-15 minutes. Then, strain the water into a saucepan with 2 cups of sugar. Bring to simmer. As soon as all the sugar is dissolved keep simmering for 2 or 3 more minutes. Remove from heat, cool and transfer to container. Store in the fridge.
To make the soda, simply combine the syrup with seltzer water. I usually use about a table spoon of syrup for a short tumbler glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon, and if you are feeling really fancy, you can rim the glass with a little of our lavender vanilla sugar.