How To Make Homemade Lavender and Rose Simple Syrups

I had such fun with these Homemade Lavender and Rose Simple Syrups yesterday. A basic simple syrup is just equal parts sugar dissolved in water, and it’s used to sweeten drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and sometimes it’s used in desserts, too.

But the cool thing is that you can flavor them with just about anything, from herbs, fruits and spices, to almost anything you can think of.

These florals just captivated my imagination.  The scents and the colors of flowers are familiar to all of us, but these syrups give you a change to experience their flavors as well.   I have lots of lavender growing in the backyard, but no roses, so part of my day was spent tracking down some suitable petals.

I finally called my friend Judith and she graciously lent me a few of her gorgeous lavender roses for this project.  Just make sure whatever plants you use haven’t been sprayed with pesticides.  Even if you don’t have a garden, roses should be pretty easy to beg, borrow or steal.   If you can’t find lavender buds, you can buy them here.

The process is, well, simple!  You dissolve the sugar into the water on the stove, along with whatever you want to infuse for flavor, like lemon zest, vanilla, cinnamon, etc.  You can use simple syrups in desserts, and you can turn them into amazing homemade sodas, but I made mine especially for the cocktail hour.   I’m posting this Friday.  Don’t miss it!

Neither of these floral flavors is popular in America; our palates just aren’t used to them (yet!) but lavender is a classic French ingredient, and rose is common in Middle Eastern desserts.   Both should be used sparingly, which is why these syrups are nice.  They add a floral note without being overpowering.

Lavender Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp lavender buds, rinsed (remove the buds from the stems before they flower)
tiny touch of violet gel food coloring (optional)

  • In a small saucepan heat the water, sugar, and lavender until it comes to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Depending on the color of your lavender, you may or may not get a pale lavender shade to your syrup.  If you  want to bump up the color, add a TINY bit of gel paste food coloring.  (use a toothpick)
  • Let cool and then strain through cheesecloth into a jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.  It will keep for a month in the fridge.

Note:  I stored my syrups in jars because I liked the look, but it would be even more convenient to transfer them to bottles for easy pouring later.

Rose Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1/2 cup Rose Water (food grade, not the kind for cosmetic use)
1 cup sugar
1 heaping cup rose petals, rinsed (the darker your petals, the more color you will get)

  • Heat the water, rose water, sugar and rose petals in a small saucepan until it comes to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  • Let the liquid cool, then strain into a jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.  It will keep for a month.

If you want to experiment with simple syrups, the basic formula is a one to one sugar and water ratio, although you can make a thinner syrup with more water.  Just heat the two in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves.  The more flavoring agent you use, and the longer you let it steep, the stronger it will be.  They keep for about a month in the fridge.   While they’re mostly useful for drinks, you can use them to flavor endless things like cakes, frostings, etc.

Don’t forget to come back on It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere Friday to see what I make with these.  Don’t know if I’m using one or both, I haven’t decided yet…

 

30 Comments

  • Reply
    mary
    July 28, 2016 at 11:50 am

    The lavender simple syrup sounds lovely. What sugar substitute might one use? Stevia?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 28, 2016 at 11:57 am

      I believe you can use Stevia Mary, let us know how it turns out if you try it!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    July 5, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I made lavender syrup using dried lavender buds. I preferred the 1:1 ratio you used rather than the 2:1 ratio most other recipes I found used; it was closer in consistency to the store-bought lavender syrup I had that I was replacing. I use the syrup to make homemade iced lattes and lavender lemonade. So delicious!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 5, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Ashley, I’d love to taste a lavender latte!!

  • Reply
    Julieann
    December 29, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Can this be frozen? Thanks

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      I suppose you could, Julieann, an ice cube tray might work well for that, depending on what you want to use them for.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    May 8, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    This is perfect! My son asked if I could make Lavender Lemonade for a picnic his dad & I are hosting the day after his wedding. I cannot get fresh lavender, will there be much difference if I use dried? I want to have different syrups to add to the lemonade. These are so pretty! Thanks so much!
    Maggie

    • Reply
      Ashley
      July 5, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      I used dried and it was perfect! In fact, I think that even if I had access to fresh lavender buds, I would dry it first…kind of like drying leaves and flowers for tea instead of using them fresh.

  • Reply
    Finn Felton
    April 25, 2013 at 6:12 am

    This is indeed a very unique idea. Thank you so much for sharing. I love people who share their recipes. I think you have that “never dying” curiosity which makes you keep experimenting with the foods.

    Best wishes!
    Finn Felton
    Kopi Luwak

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    April 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Can’t wait for my lavender to bloom to start this! And can’t wait for Friday!

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    April 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    And I love WECK jars:)!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    April 3, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    This is just so beautiful! The color! And that it’s so versatile. I would love to sweeten my tea with this! Or muffins. Or anything!

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    April 3, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    WOW! These photos are just stunning, they look like pieces of art work, beautiful, just beautiful!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      April 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks Chris, mother nature is incredible, huh? I’d love to see the different variations of rose syrup made with different colored roses…

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    April 3, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I never knew it was that easy. You always come up with the most creative things

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    April 3, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    First of all, I’m totally jealous of all of the flowers you have available to do these syrups with right now. One day, in the hopefully not to distant future I will too. I would especially love to try the lavender syrup.

  • Reply
    fiftyfinally
    April 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    that looks good …but I have several jars of port jelly and blueberry wine jelly, and balsamic jelly. That I always forget to bring out until after everyone has left and I see the stuff as I’m cleaning up. But I will see what you have to inspire me with on friday. I actually bought a bottle of rose water, but can’t remember why…or for what…But I did add the bottle to all the other ones when I packed things for moving.

  • Reply
    bellini
    April 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Let the part begin.

  • Reply
    Janice Pattie
    April 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I love this, my roses will not be safe this year!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    April 3, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Wow, those are some gorgeous roses. I have never been fond of the floral flavor of lavender. I wonder if the taste of rose would have the same effect. That syrup is gorgeous and I’m sure will be fun to use.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      April 3, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      I know what you mean, it’s a real learning curve with these floral flavors. I think it’s because we’re used to these scents in cosmetics, cleaning products and perfumes.

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    April 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Another beautiful creative post Sue – so interesting. The roses are beyond beautiful. My daughter has picked that color for her June wedding. Very pretty and so are your syrups!

  • Reply
    Linda A. Thompson-Ditch
    April 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    What great ideas! I have a blueberry-lavender soup recipe that would work well with this syrup, and I can imagine a tea cake made with the rose syrup. Can’t wait to see your drink creations!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      April 3, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      I know—I can’t wait to start experimenting with desserts. Your soup sounds so interesting, I’m going to look it up!

  • Reply
    Mary Younkin
    April 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    oooh, I like these! I’m stumped for an appetizer that will include them, but I’m already thinking about a cake with lavender filling or frosting!

  • Reply
    annie
    April 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Sue,
    How do you keep coming up with original ideas? These are great and so pretty. Can’t wait to see what you do with them on Friday. You know I love your photos…but I’m gonna say it again. Gorgeous!!
    xo
    annie

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