Make a beautiful, sweet lavender syrup to use in cocktails, tea, lemonade and more. Real lavender flowers are the key to a fragrant result.
During the spring months, I can’t get enough flowers. From daffodils in the yard to giant farmers market bouquets, there’s something about waiting all winter for these blooms.
Lavender is one such flower that gets lots of love on drink and dessert menus.
And, of course, there’s lavender syrup! It’s a floral, infused version of simple syrup that can be mixed into drinks like cocktails, coffee, tea and lemonade. You often see it used in drinks at a coffee shop, but it’s very easy to make yourself. And it is so lovely this time of year!
What is simple syrup?
The basic simple syrup recipe combines sugar and water to make a sweet substance that can be mixed into drinks. It works wonders in a cold drink especially, in which plain sugar doesn’t easily dissolve.
You can also use it in tea and coffee drinks, like lattes and cappuccinos, because it doesn’t take as much stirring to blend into the drink.
Also, cake decorators sometimes use this sugar syrup to flavor and moisten cakes before decorating.
Homemade syrups can be infused with herbs, spices and fruits to add flavors to drinks. Try cinnamon simple syrup or pumpkin spice syrup in the fall or mint simple syrup and elderberry syrup in the spring and summertime.
Lavender syrup recipe
When edible lavender flowers are infused into warm simple syrup, they impart their essential oils and floral notes into the mixture. Lavender has calming properties that make it a lovely addition in tea drinks especially.
When added to drinks like this lavender lemonade, the soft taste and aroma of lavender hit your tastebuds and nose at the same time, providing a delightful culinary experience.
Lavender syrup is available online and in specialty shops, but it’s often made with corn syrup and purple coloring, so making it yourself is preferable.
When making this easy lavender syrup, you only need three simple ingredients. Make sure they are high quality to make the most flavorful syrup.
When I make simple syrup, I tend to use cane sugar or granulated white sugar because I prefer the clear color for most cocktails.
Brown sugar can be used instead, but it will give the syrup a darker, caramel-like color.
You can also use maple syrup or honey — just follow my instructions for honey simple syrup and then come back to this recipe when you remove from heat for the infusion with fresh lavender. (A honey lavender syrup sounds absolutely divine, doesn’t it?)
I prefer to use bottled water or filtered water, but tap water will be just fine. What I like about filtered water is that it has an even purer taste. At our house, we use this Soma water pitcher because it tastes better (and comes out faster) than the tap on our fridge.
I use a 1:1 sugar to water ratio for most of my syrups, but you can use a 2:1 or 1.5:1 ratio if you prefer a thicker syrup.
For your own lavender simple syrup, I recommend using dried or fresh flowers. Dried lavender flowers can be found online or in specialty grocery stores. (Make sure they are labeled food safe.)
Fresh lavender blossoms will be lovely as well! As long as no pesticides have been used, fresh flowers are safe to use. You can sometimes find fresh ones in the springtime at specialty grocery shops or from local farmers at the farmers market. (Lavender plants are wonderful for bees, so I always try to have one in my herb garden.)
Essential oils are very strong, so you will only need to add a few drops (around 5-6, depending on how strong you like your syrup). Keep in mind they will leave behind their oily residue on the syrup.
Lavender extract is the better choice of the two, as it is typically made with water or alcohol, and will blend more easily into your syrup.
The color of your syrup may vary depending on the type of sugar you use and how your flavor your own homemade lavender syrup (fresh flowers, dried flowers, extract or essential oil).
A combination of white or cane sugar and essential oil would be very clear, but using dried flowers will give your syrup a darker color.
For natural purple color, use fresh flowers for the purest pale lavender color. Dried flowers will give off a subtle grey, pale lavender color.
If you like, you may also use drops of red and blue food coloring to make the color to your liking. (Keep in mind that syrups made with honey or brown sugar will be brown in color already and will be much harder to change with food color.)
How to make lavender simple syrup
Lavender simple syrup is an easy recipe that can be made in just a few simple steps:
- Measure equal parts sugar and water.
- Add them to a saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir them together until combined.
- Remove from heat. Add your lavender flowers while it’s hot. (If using extract or oil, wait until it has cooled completely to stir it in.)
- Let the flowers steep for 15 to 30 minutes, or until the syrup has the floral flavor you love.
- Let it cool down fully to room temperature, then pour it into a fine-mesh strainer into a mason jar (or another airtight container) and store it in the fridge or use it in cocktails, iced tea, lemonade and coffee immediately!
Variations and substitutions
Make this lavender syrup your own in a few different ways:
Add citrus. Citrus and lavender are delicious together. Try adding a few lemon or lime wedges to your syrup while the flowers infuse for a subtle citrus bite. You can also add lemon juice if you prefer.
Use honey instead of sugar. Honey and lavender go so well together, so why not try lavender honey syrup? Replace the sugar with raw honey to achieve this delicious alternative.
Make it sugar-free. Use coconut sugar or honey for a refined sugar-free alternative.
Uses for lavender syrup
There are so many ways to use lavender syrup, from cold drinks to hot ones. It imparts its lovely floral flavor and pairs well with tea, citrus and many different spirits.
Combine the syrup with club soda or sparkling water to make a homemade lavender soda.
Top it with gin and bubbly to make a lavender champagne cocktail — perfect for springtime celebrations!
Make a lavender old-fashioned that highlights the sweet, caramel notes of bourbon with the soft lavender flavor.
The London Fog is a tea latte that uses Earl Grey and has hints of vanilla and lavender.
You can even stir lavender syrup into hot cocoa or make lavender coffee for a sweet, floral treat. A honey lavender latte sounds divine!
How will you use this delicious lavender simple syrup recipe? Let me know in the comments.
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 1/4 cup (approx. 0.4 ounces) dried lavender flowers (see note)
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Do not let boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lavender flowers. Let rest for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave in longer for a stronger flavor. Strain out the flowers with a fine-mesh sieve.
- Store in a mason jar for up to two weeks.
About lavender flowers: I recommend using dried or fresh flowers. Dried lavender flowers can be found online or in specialty grocery stores. (Make sure they are labeled food safe.)
Fresh lavender blossoms are be lovely as well! As long as no pesticides have been used, fresh flowers are safe. You can sometimes find fresh ones in the springtime at specialty grocery shops or from local farmers at the farmers market.
Lavender flower substitute: You can also use lavender extract or lavender essential oil if you don’t have access to the flowers. These are a great way to get natural lavender flavor without having to use the flowers. Essential oils are very strong, so you will only need to add a few drops (around 5-6, depending on how strong you like your syrup). Keep in mind they will leave behind their oily residue in the syrup. Lavender extract is the better choice of the two, as it is typically made with water or alcohol, and will blend more easily into your syrup. Use 1/4 teaspoon.
Food coloring: If you like, you may add a 1-2 drops each of red and blue food coloring to give it a purple color. If using dried flowers, the color will be more grey. If using fresh flowers, the color will be more purple.
Sugar substitute: You may use honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, white sugar or something sugar-free like coconut sugar.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 73Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 19gProtein: 0g