MAKES 3 1/2 CUPS
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 4 cups water
• 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped lavender leaves and flowers
1. Boil the sugar, water and vanilla bean gently for 5 minutes.
2. Remove the vanilla bean and stir in the vanilla extract and lavender. Cool and strain. If you don’t like the little vanilla flecks left in the syrup, line the strainer with cheesecloth to filter them out.
• Use rose petals or other edible flowers in place of the lavender.
• In a blender, process 2 tablespoons syrup, 2/3 cup cold strong coffee and 1/3 cup milk with about a cup of ice until frothy for a refreshing coffee drink.
• Substitute chocolate-mint leaves for the lavender. Then, in parfait glasses, alternate layers of chocolate mousse, crushed vanilla wafers and syrup, repeating the layers until filled, ending with syrup. Garnish with shaved chocolate and a sprig of chocolate mint.
Check out the original article, Sweeten Your Breakfast with Herbal Syrup.