Before you start, make sure you use organic lavender avoiding any pesticides. The buds should be brightly colored and tightly closed. If you store it in a tightly sealed container away from heat and moisture, it should retain all its flavor and aroma for up to six months.
Lavender is a strong herb that can over-power a recipe unless it is used sparingly. Begin cooking with lavender as a complement to your dish, so it’s almost like an after taste. It’s important to note that the potency of the flower increases with drying. And when cooking, the heat releases its fragrant taste, so use sparingly to avoid over powering your dish.
Like a little sugar? Who doesn’t! An easy way to cook with lavender is to make lavender sugar. If you have a coffee grinder (Amazon and Bed, Bath and Beyond carry them), place the buds of two lavender flowers, with 2-3 tablespoons of raw sugar. Grind together until fine. This will break apart the lavender buds and release the oils into the sugar. You can store your lavender sugar in any air-tight container in the freezer to keep it fresh and fragrant. Now that you have your newly fragrant sugar available, have fun and experiment with adding the Lavender sugar to baked goods and teas; as well as flavoring whipping cream, homemade ice creams, jams and jellies, fruit syrups, shortbread cookies (my favorite by the way), scones, glazes on cakes, biscotti, sorbets, custards, cheesecakes and more.
For those of us who like variety in our cocktails, Lavender is not only unique, but rare to find in bars, except in some of the trendier restaurants, like ours. When lavender flowers are steeped in alcohol, the oils are extracted from the buds and infused into the alcohol. On your next visit to Lavender Bistro try our famous ‘Lavender Botanical Lemon Drop.’ Or, try taking a sprig of lavender in your martini with a twist of lemon!
Did you know?
Did you know that our lovely Bartender extraordinaire, Leanna, lives next to 450 acre Lavender farm? We just love it, because she brings the organic lavender to Lavender Bistro to make her ‘famous’ Lavender simple syrup for our specialized cocktails; the aforementioned Lavender Botanical Lemon Drop and Lavender Margarita!
Written by Renee Woodward; Marketing manager at Lavender Bistro. Join us for an exquisite dinner at 78-073 Calle Barcelona, La Quinta. Call for reservations at 760.564.5353 / Happy hour from 4pm, dinner from 5:30pm. Live music nightly!