From Garden to Table: Josephine’s Lavender Hot Chocolate Recipe

Try Josephine's Lavender Hot Chocolate, a recipe so tantalizing that it is worthy of one of the greatest love stories in history.

| June 2012

  • Lavender was the secret ingredient in the nightcap Josephine created for Napoleon. Entrance your lover with the aromatic recipe Josephine's Lavender Hot Chocolate.
    Photo by Brian Smale courtesy Florentia Press (c) 2010
  • "Discover Cooking with Lavender" by Kathy Gehrt is an inspiring guide that will help you infuse your kitchen with invigorating fragrances and flavor. Explore the culinary wonders of lavender in this herbal cookbook.
    Photo courtesy Florentia Press (c) 2010

Keep Josephine's Lavender Hot Chocolate recipe around for cold nights. You can add an ounce of coffee as you drink it to wake up in the morning, or add a small amount of liqueur to it for a special occasion. Any way you ammend it, this recipe is as enchanting as it is delicious. Kathy Gehrt's Discover Cooking with Lavender (Florentia Press, 2010) provides this lavender recipe in the following excerpt from the chapter "Delectable Drinks." 

Josephine’s Lavender Hot Chocolate

Makes 2 servings 

Lavender was the secret ingredient in the nightcap Josephine created for Napoleon. Not only delicious, this drink always seemed to put Napoleon in a “romantic” mood. Serve on Valentine’s Day and add a small amount of liqueur for a special touch. Josephine added an ounce of coffee to her potion. 

• 3 cups whole milk or half-and-half
• 2 teaspoons dried lavender buds
• 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



1. Pour milk into a medium saucepan and stir in lavender buds. Set over medium heat and bring just to a boil.

2. Remove mixture from heat and steep for 3 to 5 minutes, or longer for a stronger lavender flavor.



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