Thursday, June 22, 2006

Recipe: Purple Lavender Punch

Breathe deeply. Put on a hat. Time to harvest the lavender.
This was a pretty good winter, not too wet. I grow lavender with varying degrees of success. The plants in my front yard do better than the plants in my herb garden, a testament to the "right plant in the right place" philosophy. In short form: the front yard is sunnier, and the plants are hybrids. The herb garden has it's own advantages for other herbs, but I have to admit, there is less sun there. And the plants were grown from seed: to save money I played the "vera" roulette. Angustifolias are the tastiest and sweetest smelling of the Lavandulas, in my opinion, but the hybrids in the front yard look impressive with their long stems and fat buds.
(The photo is from the state of Washington.)

Here is an unusual punch recipe. Most of the time, lavender punches rely on lemonade as a base. Of course, decorate pitcher with a little beribboned bundle of lavender sprigs.


1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp whole cloves
3 T fresh lavender flowers (OR 1 T dried lavender)
1 (6 oz.) can frozen limeade concentrate
2 cups Concord purple grape juice

1 lime, sliced
1 liter bottle club soda, seven-up, or ginger ale, chilled

In covered 1 quart saucepan, heat water, cinnamon, and cloves to boiling.
Simmer over low heat 5 minutes; remove from heat.
Add lavender flowers. Cover and let stand 10 minutes to steep.
Strain the brew into a bowl and discard the particles.
Stir frozen limeade concentrate into the brew until melted and add
grape juice. Cover and refrigerate.
Just before serving, pour into large pitcher.
Add lime slices and ice.

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