Lavender is a versatile edible flower that can be used in so many different ways and not just for oil or those quaint lavender bags that grandmothers use to scent their clothing drawers (and not just grandmothers I have to say – I’ve always loved using lavender sachets). I have used it to make lavender shortbread, lavender syrup and lavender sugar. I saw an advert for a lavender gin and thought how hard can it be to make lavender-infused vodka or gin myself?
There are all manner of recipes out there for infusing lavender into your vodka or gin. The simplest being to put the lavender buds (1 tsp – 2 tbsp) into the vodka, put on the lid and shake, then leave for 1-5 days before straining the infused vodka through a fine mesh sieve. Some use a sugar syrup to give a sweeter liqueur. Some recipes put the vodka in a dark cupboard to infuse; many put it in the freezer to infuse (I’m not sure why).
I found a recipe that heated the spirit with the lavender, promising that ‘this infusion is visually stunning – the herb colours the gin with a slight hue of dark lavender’. I loved the sound of this so that is what I did but instead of a purplish hue I got the slightly yellow green colour that I would expect from a herb infusion. I will perhaps try it again heating just lavender petals to see if I can get a purple colour as well as the amazing flavour.
1 litre vodka (I was initially going to use gin but ran out so I used vodka instead)
2 tsp – 2 tbsp dried lavender buds (depending whether you like just a subtle hint or a stronger flavour)
Place the lavender in a small saucepan over a low heat. Add about 1 cup vodka, bring it just to the boil and then immediately remove it from the heat.
Cool and then add the remaining vodka. I left mine to infuse overnight as well for good measure.
Strain the vodka through a muslin-lined sieve. Squeeze the lavender buds to extract all the spirit (it smells absolutely amazing!).
Pour the lavender-infused vodka into a bottle and store in a dark cupboard. Pour into decorative bottles if making as a gift.
Serve with soda and a squeeze of lemon – deliciously refreshing (and sugar free!).