I set out with a pair of pruning shears and cut a couple of sprigs off of the lavender plant in Tammy's garden (with her permission, I swear). Here are the ingredients for this simple beverage:
-one sprig of lavender (I actually used the one pictured);
-four tea bags (I used Twinings English Breakfast Tea, decaf);
-one cup sugar;
-one cup water.
I rinsed the lavender, then picked the leaves and placed them in a glass measuring cup. The leaves were then bruised with a wooden spoon (I lack the thingy actually designed for that purpose...Christmas is coming) to release their oils and left to steep in the cup of water overnight in the fridge.
Okay....next day: the lavender water smelled like...yeah, lavender. Bring to simmer with the one cup of sugar (just like simple syrup, but lavendery) then add your tea bags sans tags and strings. I simmered it for five minutes, then strained through a tea strainer (coffee filter would also work...one of the tea bags burst).
Here's the syrup, which was very dark, and smelled awesome (it made me sleepy):
The recipe made slightly more than one cup of syrup. I decided to carbonate this batch in our ISI soda siphon. I cooled the water in the fridge for two hours, then added the syrup to the siphon and topped off with cold water and carbonated. I left the siphon in the fridge overnight to allow the CO2 to saturate the liquid.
I waited very patiently until the next day to try this. On pouring the soda came out with a very thick head...like a quarter inch of tea and four inches of foam. That was a little discouraging...not sure what happened there. But, after letting the foam settle out the tea looked, smelled and tasted great.
A bit of a warning with this recipe: the lavender taste is very pronounced, so some may want to tone it down a little, but I really enjoyed it. The combination of the lavender, tea, sugar and carbonation was calming and exciting all at the same time. All of the flavors came through clean, and were well balanced. I will definitely be making this again, though in future I think I'll just mix the syrup with seltzer.
And now, for no apparent reason whatsoever, here is a picture of our dog Sissy eating cheese sauce out of a can:
Check back soon....raspberry soda and a reckless experiment with pumpkin soda are coming!