Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lavender Blackberry Syrup

It's coming on summer (summer!?), which means that, in a few short weeks, you will most likely stop buying wool hats and start spending your money on things like sunblock, maxi dresses (everyone loves a good maxi dress), Klondike bars, beach parking, barbecue sauce, air/bus/train fare (for all of those summer weddings), and more Klondike bars.

All good things, yes, but your subsequently reduced bank account will force you to think of new and creative ways to thrill and impress your friends in the kitchen.  Enter: lavender blackberry syrup.

What good is a syrup, you ask?  What does it even do?  Well.  Lavender blackberry syrup can be poured on pancakes, drizzled over ice cream (take that, Klondike bar), mixed with seltzer water for homemade soda, or, even better, splashed with some gin and bubbles for one amazing cocktail.  Mix it with lemonade.  Swirl it into some hot water to make a sweet and fragrant tea.  Freeze it to make ice pops!  Bathe in it!  The possibilities are rather endless, you see.

Cheap?  Check.  Impressive?  Check.  Easy?  Check check check.  A world of pink syrupy summer fun awaits.  Get into it.

Lavender Blackberry Syrup

This recipe is easily altered to suit your taste.  Don't like blackberries?  Try strawberries instead!  Can't get your hands on culinary lavender?  Try some fresh mint leaves or sprigs of thyme.  Have fun with this one.

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons culinary lavender
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries, well-rinsed (reserve a few for garnish, if you like)
Combine the water, sugar, lemon juice and lavender in a medium pot, and place over high heat.  Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and add the blackberries.  Simmer the mixture until the blackberries begin to soften and break down, about 7 minutes.  Use a wooden spoon to smash and bruise the berries a bit, releasing more of their flavor into the syrup.  Remove the syrup from the heat and strain it through a fine strainer, into a jar or tupperware.  Discard the smashed blackberries (or save them and eat them on toast?).  Allow the syrup to cool, and then chill completely in the refrigerator.
Once cool, spoon a few tablespoons syrup into a tall glass with ice, and fill the rest of the glass with soda water (and maybe a splash of gin?  Shh, it's fine).  Garnish with a blackberry or two.  Sip, smile, repeat.
Yields 1 quart syrup.

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