Monday, July 23, 2007

Lavender: Lavender Vanilla Mojitos or Lavender Lemonade Recipes!

Lavender Lemonade
(Makes 1 quart)
14 fresh lemons, squeezed
4 cups water
2 cups granulated fine sugar
2 inch piece fresh peeled ginger root, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh dried lavender buds
Lemon circles and fresh lavender springs for serving

Combine and allow to steep for 30 minutes (or longer if stronger flavor is desired). Strain if you like and serve over ice in a tall glass garnished with lemon circles and lavender sprigs.

Options: Store-bought lemonade can be substituted. Simply add ginger and lavender and steep.

Lavender Vanilla Mojito
(Makes 1 drink)
2 sprigs fresh mint, chopped up
1 1/2 ounces rum
2 teaspoons super-fine sugar
1/4 teaspoon Pure Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
Pinch of fresh lavender
Club or lemon soda
Fresh mint and lavender sprigs

Fill a pint shaker glass 1/3-full with ice. Add ripped mint, sugar lavender and rum. Cover shaker and shake vigorously for one minute. Pour into a tall glass; add more ice, top with club or lemon soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint and lavender.

To turn regular granulated sugar into fast-dissolving super-fine, whirl it in a blender for a minute or two.

Note: A herbal syrup is a simple way to enhance fresh, ripe seasonal fruits and berries. This one is especially good with stone fruits like peaches, apricots and nectarines, with berries, and poured over that old French standby, ripe figs. It will keep in the fridge for a good week, ready for an impromptu feast when you are.