A super easy, mild and refreshing drink with the very flavours of summer! What’s a British summer without the scent of lavender floating in the air with the constant hum of bees caressing these purple beauties? And let’s not forget the fluttering butterflies of many hues flitting in and out.
Having a lavender plant or two in your garden is one of the best ways of attracting these flutterbys and helping nature in your own little way.
I adore lavender; its fragrance is mysterious, soothing and intoxicating. We always have a bottle of pure essential lavender oil at home, to place a drop on pillows at night or to soothe burns and regenerate skin. Mixed with pure essential oil of Frankincense in a neutral base, lavender is a powerful healer and regenerative oil.
Today’s recipe, Lavender, Lemongrass and Ginger Spritzer, is another drink that has been waiting in the wings this summer. In my last book, Ramadan Recipes – A 7 Day Meal Plan, I had a drink recipe for Lime and Ginger Spritzer.
The ginger syrup in that recipe makes a great base for all sorts of concoctions and is just asking to be played with. I love using flowers in the kitchen and have, for ages, wanted to create more Lavender recipes, so when I was recently asked for one, I figured no time like the present!
My last lavender recipe was the Lavender and Sumac Roast Chicken, a beautiful play between the sweet of the lavender and the contrasting sour of the sumac.
Lavender is sweet but very potent, a little goes a long, long way, so we always use a light touch. If in doubt on the amount, always go conservative. And the strength of the lavender is in its bouquet, in the perfume that it imparts into your recipe, not so much the flavour.
In this Lavender, Lemongrass and Ginger Spritzer, I’m pairing the sweet lavender with the warm, spicy and pungent ginger, (although its pungency is tempered somewhat because of the cooking), a contrast that works rather well, if I may say so myself. Then to complement this twosome (I’ve heard that threesomes are rather fun!), I felt that lemongrass would do nicely, with its sharp, citrusy and a touch of sweet constitution, bringing it all together to form a seamless whole.
The result? A harmonious blend of flavours and aromas that first tickles, then pleasures your senses.
As you bring the glass to your lips, the lavender takes centerstage, delighting your sense of smell with its summer sweet fragrance.
As you take a sip, the ginger and lemongrass just nudge the lavender aside gently as all three make their glorious presence be savoured – sweet aroma and spicy and citrusy flavour, one after another, yet all at once! Imagine that!
And as the drink effortless glides down your throat, the lavender’s delicate perfume is eclipsed by the boldness of the ginger with the lemongrass playing an exquisite second fiddle.
Are you feeling it yet?
But hold on to your horses! A couple of things to note before we get to the recipe:
Buying Culinary Lavender
A word about buying your edible flowers, and especially lavender, which is so easily found growing everywhere in the summer. Always buy the organic, culinary variety. Not just organic, make sure it says culinary or edible.
The term organic is sometimes too loosely used, in my experience. I’ve always grown my lavender and as I don’t use pesticide in my garden, have always just picked the flower buds straight from the plant. But as I found out recently, dried culinary lavender is now so easily found in the UK, most of our larger supermarket chains do them.
Dried Lavender to Fresh Lavender Conversion
Dried is always more potent, so use one third dried lavender buds to 1 portion of fresh. That means 1 teaspoon dried lavender = 3 teaspoons fresh.
Can you spike this recipe?
Mais bien sûr! Cointreau comes to mind, as does vodka. And gin – definitely gin! What else can you think of that would be good? Let me know in the comments below!
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Lavender, Lemongrass and Ginger Spritzer
- Ginger and Lavender Syrup recipe below
- 1 litre (4 cups) COLD Sparkling/Soda water
- Ice cubes as needed
- 4 stalks fresh lemongrass
Ginger and Lavender Syrup
- 200 g (1 cup) white sugar
- 125 ml (½ cup) water
- 120 g (4 oz) fresh ginger
- 2 tsp dried culinary/edible lavender
The Ginger and Lavender Syrup
- No need to peel the ginger, just scrub the skin clean with a vegetable brush and grate or chop finely in a chopper.
- If you have a pestle and mortar, lightly crush the lavender buds to release their essential oils and aroma. If you don’t, making sure that your hands are clean, lightly crush the buds between your fingers or in your hands.
- Place everything into a small pan and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 10 minutes on the lowest heat to allow the flavours to develop and the syrup to thicken.
- Strain and discard the ginger pulp.
- Cool to room temperature, cover and leave somewhere cool until needed. No need to place in the fridge.
The Lavender, Lemongrass and Ginger Spritzer
- Rinse the lemongrass stalks and bruise them. That means, using the back of a big knife, pound down on the base (the thick part) of the lemongrass, to release the flavour, aroma and essential oils.
- Divide the ginger and lavender syrup amongst 4 glasses.
- Place 3-4 ice cubes in each glass.
- Top up with the sparkling water.
- Place a lemongrass stalk in each glass, stir to infuse, then serve immediately.