Oh, for the love of lavender!
Lavender in Provence is an iconic symbol of the region and one of its most famous agricultural products. The climate and soil conditions in Provence are well-suited for growing lavender, and the region has been cultivating this fragrant plant for centuries. The lavender fields create a stunning visual landscape, typically from mid-June to mid-August. Here at home in Connecticut, I grow lavender to bring a little of the Provence beauty to my own garden. The scent of it transports me to those gorgeous fields of purple!
In one of our past travel posts, I shared…
- Who first brought lavender to Provence
- What Is the Most Prized Type of Lavender Grown in Provence?
- When and Where in Southern France Is the Best Time to See and Experience the Magic of Lavender?
- and… a few of Lavender’s Virtues
Read the full post here.
Lavender is such a versatile plant and most of us have heard of it being used in aromatherapy, as an insect repellent, or as a natural sleep aid and stress reducer, but its uses extend beyond that. In skincare products, lavender supports skin health with its anti-inflammatory properties and can soothe skin irritations, alleviate acne, and promote a healthy complexion. Using lavender in cooking adds a delicate floral tone to cookies, cakes, and scones, and can be infused into syrups, teas, and cocktails.
Grow it in Your Own Garden
Why not try growing some lavender in your own garden? It can be grown as a perennial in Zones 5-8 and as an annual in cooler climates. Give it full sun and well-drained soil and then enjoy this fragrant beauty.
Already have some lavender growing? Reserve some of your harvest and try something different…a lavender-inspired drink!
Prepare your Lavender
The best way to process your lavender is to gather a bunch of around 20-30 flowers and tie them together with twine or a rubber band to create a bunch. Use a clothespin or other device to hang it upside down until completely dry. Read this helpful blog post from Get Busy Gardening for more details.
Now that you have your lavender ready to go ( or if you need to purchase some you can get culinary lavender on Amazon) you can create a delicious and fragrant drink to enjoy this treasure of Provence.
Create a Lavender Drink
Start with making a Lavender Simple Syrup:
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 2 Tbsp lavender
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir and let boil until the sugar has fully dissolved. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain into a clean jar, cover, and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Now you can create a delicious cocktail…
Lavender French 75
Makes one serving
- 1.5 oz Gin
- 0.75 oz Fresh lemon juice
- 0.5 oz Lavender simple syrup
- 3 oz Sparkling wine
- Lemon peel (optional)
- Fresh lavender flowers (optional)
- Lavender syrup (see above)
- 3 Tbsp Lavender buds (dried, you can order culinary lavender from Amazon or from the Savory Spice Shop)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
Combine the gin, fresh lemon juice, and lavender syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a coupe or champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine, garnish with lemon and lavender flowers, and serve.
- 2 ½ cups Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup Lavender syrup (see above)
- 1 Big handful of fresh mint
- Lemon slices for garnish
- Fresh lavender sprigs for garnish
In a large pitcher, combine the lemon juice, water, and simple syrup. Stir well. Taste and adjust the flavor to your liking. Throw a handful of fresh mint leaves into the pitcher and refrigerate for an hour before serving.
To serve, pour into chilled glasses and garnish with a lemon slice, lavender sprig, and mint leaf. Enjoy!
Plan your Visit to Provence
At Jackdaw Journeys our goal is to showcase the beauty of Provence in every season. Visit our travel itinerary page to see our current tours. Looking for a custom tour for your group? Reach out by email or DM on Instagram @jackdawjourneys