Today is the first day of summer. When we think of summer, we think of lavender.
Lavender is a flowering plant, a genus of 39 species that originated in the Mediterranean, northern and eastern Africa and southwest Asia, including India. The most widely cultivated species is English lavender, Lavandula angustifolia. Though not native to England it has long been the preferred variety grown there.
As noted in Wikipedia, the names “English lavender,” “French lavender” and “Spanish lavender” are “imprecisely applied.”
The word lavender may be derived from Latin livere, “blueish.”
It is grown as an ornamental flower, and also as a culinary ingredient. The oil is used to scent beauty and household products. Medicinally, it was used as a disinfectant and antiseptic by ancient herbalists. It became a cosmetic herb and a tonic due to its popularity with the English royalty.
The different lavender types vary in the potency and flavor of the flowers and oils. English lavender is the sweetest and the most commonly used.
If you look for lavender recipes, you’ll find almost every food embellished with lavender. We can’t possibly narrow the selection, so look for what you like.
What we will do is tell you how to infuse lavender in alcohol and simple syrup, and make lavender cocktails.