Here at the Jersey Lavender Farm, we would like to think that we have started to get you used to the idea of using some of our dried culinary lavender as an ingredient in some of your favourite meals, but what about drinking lavender? Well read on for a couple of suggestions about ways to add lavender to some of your favourite drinks, for a whole new drinking experience.
To be honest, there’s nothing new about lavender tea, it’s been about as long as the plant has (and that’s a long time!) and from the Middle Ages right through the Victorian times, lavender tea was a regular part of many people’s diets. However, even with all the fruit and herbal tea blends that you can find as you cast your eye along the shelves of the supermarket, it’s rare that you will see lavender used a tea ingredient. Well we think that it’s high time that delicious and beneficial lavender tea saw a resurgence.
Making yourself a cup of lovely lavender tea really couldn’t be easier. Simply steep half to 1 teaspoon of our lovely dried culinary lavender in hot water for up to 5 minutes and then drain. Alternatively you can use fresh lavender stalks and flowers, but bear in mind that you will need to use about two thirds more fresh than dried lavender for a comparable flavour. Obviously you can adjust this recipe to suit your own taste buds – but we recommend adding spoonful of lavender honey for a sweeter taste.
So what’s so good about lavender tea? Not only is this a lovely tasting tea, but steeping the lavender draws out the essential oils meaning that this has many of the beneficial effects of using pure lavender essential oil. In particular a cup of lavender tea after dinner will help to aid digestion and will also have that wonderful lavender soothing and calming effect, helping to promote a good night’s sleep, even after the heaviest of late night meals!
So a slightly different effect than lavender tea, lavender gin is a great way to get your cocktail party started with a splash! Again, lavender gin couldn’t be easier to make. Simply steep fresh or dried lavender in a bottle of gin for anywhere between 12 hours and 1 week (depending on the pungency of flavour required), strain and off you go! Using fresh lavender flowers and stalks will mean that you will need to steep the gin for longer than dried, but this looks so pretty on your counter top that this is hardly a hardship – it also makes a great gift, simply add some decorative ribbon.
There are so many great ways to use lavender gin that it would be difficult to list them all here; however some of our favourites are the classic and simple lavender gin and lemon tonic, or why not try a lavender martini – simply shake 50ml lavender gin, 25ml white vermouth and 25ml triple sec (or other orange liqueur) over ice, strain into a chilled martini glass and enjoy!