Before the birth of my son, my wife's girlfriends held a wonderful baby shower for her. They went to a very beautiful and very old Victorian house where all of the ladies were given time to dress up in very old Victorian era hats, scarves, and the like. The atmosphere reminded me of an old Victorian tea house, even down to the blue glass jar filled with fresh lavender flowers. Rumor has it that by inhaling deeply from the scent of these lavender flowers that one would feel instantly relaxed, thus making it easier for those present to mingle and exchange words. The hostess, not one to disappoint had one with a hinged lid, and they passed it around for a breath or two before after being seated for tea. Everything was so wonderful. The highlight of the event was a delightful drink made from lavender extract and fresh squeezed lemons.
My wife an all of her friends fell instantly in love with the drink and she brought home the recipe to share. We found all of the necessary ingredients and proceeded to make a large pot of lavender extract; how delightful the house smelled during that process. I would advise washing the pot you use immediately after cooking, as the extract might leave a ring. Fresh squeezed lemons are important too as they take some of the tartness off of the frozen concentrate. If you wish, you can add a little regular white sugar to take the edge off of the lavender taste. It might seem a bit strong at first, but you’ll find it hard to put down your glass after a few sips.
- Dried Lavender
- 7 Lemons
- 1 Can Frozen Lemonade
- 4 Piloncillo Sugar Cones
I'm not sure if lavender is as readily available where you live – my advice is to look for a natural food outlet.
Piloncillo is made from pure, unrefined sugar that is pressed into a cone shape. It tastes very similar to brown sugar with a molasses flavor (even though it does not contain molasses) and you can use it for anything that calls for brown sugar. It's name means "little pylon" because of it's shape. You can find it in the Mexican or specialty area of your regular grocery store.
In addition to the ingredients listed, you'll need a muslin drawstring cooking bag (also available at your specialty/health food store)
- Stuff your cooking bag as full as you can with dried lavender and then tie tightly closed.
- On the stovetop, fill a pot with enough water to submerge the bag plus about two inches.
- Bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Every 20 minutes, take a wooden spoon and using the flat part, squeeze the cooking bag to release the essential oil.
- Simmer for about four hours, adding water if necessary to insure the bag stays submerged.
- Simmer until the water level is just above the bag and then add the piloncillo sugar cones one at a time, insuring they melt totally. Use your wooden spoon to stir to help the process. This will thicken up the mixture into a syrup.
- Take off of heat and cool.
- Prepare one can of frozen lemonade and add the juice of 6 lemons. Cut the remaining two lemons for garnishes.
- Add 3/4 of a cup of the cooled syrup and 1-2 trays of ice cubes and stir to blend.
- Serve in a glass of ice with a lemon garnish.
Refrigerate or freeze any remaining lavender syrup for use later. Try it on pancakes, ice cream, or as a sweetener in a cup of tea. Lavender sachets can be used to freshen linen, and the scent has been linked to a restful night’s sleep.