Last Minute Herbal Syrups June 23, 2015 08:31

Last week I was invited to a birthday BBQ at a park. In typical fashion I offered to bring something to share, and then promptly forgot about it until 30 minutes before I had to leave for the party. The shortbread I'd planned to make was definitely out.

I had a few moments of panic until I happened to spot my herb garden. Anything from the culinary or medicinal spectrum (the weirder the better!) has a space in my garden, and one of my very favourite things is to walk past the rows of pots on a hot day and run my hand through all the plants, enjoying all the smells that waft up from them. Lavender, rosemary, sage, lemon balm, thyme, tarragon, mint....even the names are fantastic!
 
What I to Work With

But how does that help me in this case? I love to make simple syrups from my herbs, but I'd left it far too late to follow the tried and true method of simmering sugar and water with my chosen herb until it was reduced down to a sticky, thick syrup.

So I winged it.

I grabbed my scissors and hacked off some lavender blossoms, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, and mint, and then started throwing them in mason jars. Lemon balm with the lavender, rosemary with the sage, mint by itself because..well...mint doesn't play well with others.  I dumped some sugar on top of them, and then filled the jars with boiling water and capped them tightly. A few good shakes and I popped them into a box and drove to the BBQ.

Lavendar and Sugar

By the time I got there, the sugar had dissolved, and the herbs were starting to look pale and bedraggled, but the smell - oh the smell was fantastic!

I'd brought along some ice and carbonated water, and pretty soon I was the favourite person at the party! (well, ok...maybe that was the guy manning the BBQ, but whatever)

Since then I've been throwing some herbal concoction in with just about everything I drink. The lavender lemon balm goes wonderfully with some lemonade (and I've heard that a splash of gin doesn't hurt either), the mint is fantastic in iced tea, and the rosemary sage? Well, that was the biggest surprise. I've been drinking it straight in fizzy water because it's so good. Seriously, that stuff is amazing.

Lavendar Lemonbalm Lemonade
Sometimes laziness and poor memory lead to great things!