I love the imagery of kitchen witchery. The wise woman in the kitchen making those potions people come seeking out, crafting recipes that heal from the inside out, and dispensing the advice and remedies to help people help themselves – it’s all deliciously rich. Not to mention practical. (Practical Magic is one of my favorite books of all time for this)
When people come to my kitchen, I love to leave them with a little something special that just maybe they’ve never had before. Whether it’s a feeling or an unexpected flavor combination, you can give people this wonderful gift, too.
As a seasoned barista, one of my favorite everyday gifts to give to people is a phenomenal drink. Having flavored syrups around is one way to jazz up coffee, cocktails, and so much more. However, the syrups available on the market are rather passé. They are boring, loaded with artificial flavors, and are simply not something I’d want to serve someone I care about.
That’s why I started making my own.
Lavender Vanilla Simple Syrup
- 3 cups organic cane or coconut sugar
- 1 cup of filtered water
- 1 vanilla bean
- 4 drops of lavender essential oil
- 1 tsp. vodka (see notes below)
Bring the water to 180 degrees Fahrenheit in a medium-sized pot, and begin adding sugar one cupful at a time, stirring constantly. Keep water hot, but not boiling. When all sugar is added, slice one vanilla bean in half, and place both halves in the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into a quart-size mason jar and seal. (You may water bath can, if you need shelf life.)
- Do NOT add more lavender before tasting the final product. I promise it is very potent with just four drops.
- The vodka is a preservative. You can leave it off if you’re refrigerating your syrup or hot water bath canning it.
See? Entertaining and gifting doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it.