Blast From the Past

June 7, 2008 at 9:23 pm 22 comments

Lavender Infused Vinegar

In choosing the herbs for my garden this year, I went a little overboard with the lavender.  I’ve mentioned my fondness for lavender before, but it bears repeating.  I find the scent of lavender heavenly and the color of the flowers alluring, so much so that I named my cat Lavender.   I like tossing the fresh buds in cookies, herbal teas, and even ice cream.  And of course, the dried flowers make great sachets for dresser drawers.

However, with four large plants blooming like mad in my garden right now (I’m harvesting massive handfuls every day!), I decided it was time to do something with the buds that I hadn’t thought to do in awhile – make an herbal vinegar. 

Lavender

When I was in high school, I had a subscription to some wholesome teenage girl’s magazine.  Among the articles I read and re-read (it was my only magazine), there was a how-to for giving yourself a facial using stuff around the house, such as vinegars, egg whites, olive oil, and sugar.  I quickly decided it was very important for me to have a facial every week.  After a few of them, I started getting craftier with my ingredients.  The article called for just plain white vinegar diluted with water to act as a toner.  My grandmother had some lavender in her flower beds, and I tossed the buds in the vinegar  bottle one night.  It was heavenly. 

lavender florets

As an acne-prone teeny bopper, I never thought to go so far as to eat the diluted herbal vinegar.  But now as a grown-up, I can see this purple elixir for something more.  It adds a light floral note to salads, and dinner guests will be intrigued by the gorgeous bottle of it sitting on the table.  You can also add it to oil for a dressing.  Or, repeat history, and dilute it for a relaxing facial toner.

Vinegar and florets

All this reminds me of the other great tip I learned from that magazine article.  If you mix equal parts olive oil and sugar, it makes an amazing exfoliating rub. The sugar does the exfoliating while the oil moisturizes.  It’s perfect for getting dirt off your hands after digging in the garden. 

Day 1

Lavender Infused Vinegar

¼ C. fresh lavender buds
1 t. lemon zest
1 C. white wine vinegar

Gently wash lavender buds in cool water.  Leave to air dry on a paper towel for an hour.  In a clean jar, place lavender buds and lemon zest.  Pour in the vinegar.  Seal the jar tight and shake vigorously.  Place on a window sill and shake once a day for at least two weeks and up to four weeks. 

To use, pour through a strainer and simmer (don’t boil) in a non-reactive pan for a few minutes.  Return vinegar to the rinsed out jar and cover tightly.  Store in a cool dark location for up to a year.

To use, sprinkle over salads or add to more elaborate salad dressings. Or use as a facial toner by diluting it one part vinegar to eight parts water. 

(makes 1 cup)

Jar of lavender vinegar

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Entry filed under: Preserves, Recipes. Tags: , , .

Bread Co-op: Oatmeal For the Four Eyes

22 Comments Add your own

  • 1. fallenangel65  |  June 7, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    I love this! You give me such great ideas!!! I love the smell of lavender, althought I have to admit, I have never smelled fresh flowers – just lavender scented items like Mrs. Meyers clearners that I use. I bet the white vinegar base infused with like this could also be used to clean windows and leave an even fresher scent. Hmmm… ;)

    Reply
  • 2. VegeYum Ganga  |  June 8, 2008 at 4:13 am

    Lavender appears in my kitchen a lot, but not as vinegar. That is, not until now. It is flowering here at the moment too, so this will go on my To Do list. Thanks once more.

    Reply
  • 3. Jennie  |  June 8, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Fallen Angel and Vege Yum – So glad you both like this post so much. :) I was worried it was too simple of a “recipe” to be worthy of a post but it seems it’s met with a good reception. :) I love the idea of using it for household cleaning too! That’s got me thinking… I bet a person could make a great “odor-eater” spray for pet smells and such using lavender, white vinegar (not white wine vinegar) and baking soda… I’m going to have to work on the ratios but I think that’d make a fantastic non-toxic alternative to stuff you buy at the store. :)

    Reply
  • 4. fallenangel65  |  June 8, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Let me know when you get the ratios – I would be interested in that. Don’t suppose you know a natural way to ward off fleas? I used to go to an accupunturist that made herbal flea collars for his pets but of course I have no idea where he is now or what he used. I just remembered they smelled great. I have borax works put that would be more of a dry shake on carpet and a vacuuming a little later.

    Reply
  • 5. Mary  |  June 8, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    I have lavender in my garden and never thought to make vinegar out of it. Fantastic!

    Reply
  • 6. gintoino  |  June 9, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    My lavenders are all blooming, so I might as well try this. Now, is this a special type of lavender, or we can use whatever lavender we want? (I have 5 diferent lavender species in my garden)

    Reply
  • 7. Jennie  |  June 9, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Gintoino – :) Five lavender species… We are so similar! I don’t think the variety matters as I used three different types for mine. As long as it’s culinary lavender (and I think they all are), it’ll work just fine.

    Reply
  • 8. Megan  |  June 14, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Hello,
    Thanks for this posting…I have a silly question. I have two huge lavender plants in my garden that are doing beautifully, but I don’t harvest the flowers. I guess that I feared that they wouldn’t continue to flourish, is lavender like herbs where the more you harvest them the more they thrive?

    Thanks for your help!

    Megan

    Reply
  • 9. Jennie  |  June 15, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Megan – Most definitely! I cut flowers off my lavenders at least twice a week and always have plenty more. Just be sure to keep them well watered and give them some compost or fertilizer since they’re working hard to keep those flowers coming. :) Oh, and that wasn’t a silly question at all! :)

    Reply
  • 10. Megan  |  June 15, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Perfect, I appreciate your help! I got a compost tumbler this Spring, so I have plenty of “black gold” to put on the plants. Thanks so very much, I am going to go and clip some flowers right now!

    Have a wonderful evening, Megan

    Reply
  • 11. Relaxed and Refined « Straight from the Farm  |  June 16, 2008 at 11:19 am

    […] really putting my lavender plants to work already this summer.  First a lavender-infused vinegar, then a bubbly lavender lemonade, and now lavender scented ice cream!  I’m running to catch up […]

    Reply
  • 12. Jes  |  June 16, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    I’ve been making this tincture for years now. I use cider vinegar though which gives it a more soft effect. I use it as a rinse for my hair and it feels so soft afterwards.

    Reply
  • 13. Karin  |  June 20, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    I love this! :-)

    Reply
  • 14. Columbus Foodie » Blog Archive » June 2008 Roundup  |  July 9, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    […] and Lime-Cilantro Cream from The Spiced Life, Mario Batali’s Homemade Ricotta from The Stew, Lavender-Infused Vinegar from Straight from the Farm, Chicken with Morels – Barefoot Style from Strawberries in Paris, […]

    Reply
  • […] earlier this season, I put some of my stash of fresh blueberries into this one, along with some lavender-infused vinegar I’d brewed myself.  If it’s no longer blueberry season where you are, the same results can […]

    Reply
  • […] really ratchet up the flavor in this dish, but I understand that not everyone has had the time to brew their own lavender vinegar.  If you visit the grocery store, particularly a “specialty” market like Whole Foods, you’ll […]

    Reply
  • 17. Ingrid  |  August 12, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    I share your love of lavender. I did a write up, followed by a recipe featuring culinary lavender on my other blog Natural Living Cuisine. Next year I plan to plant a culinary lavender.

    I love making homemade infused vinegar, Raspberry Cidar Vinegar is one I made recently.

    Reply
  • 18. Drew  |  December 24, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Thanks for this posting and help ;-)

    Drew

    Reply
  • 19. Lauretta  |  February 27, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    For Fallenangel65 – a little ground fennel sprinkled in your dog/cat food everyday during flea seasons will make him/her unappleaing to the fleas. Also, you can sprinkle some on the floor in areas where you know they are lurking. They HATE fennel !!

    Reply
  • […] Lavender Vinegar Use distilled white wine vinegar. Place “some” (say, a small handful) in a modicum (say, a pint) of vinegar. Put in a sunny window and let it stand 4-6 weeks. For more info about uses and great pictures, read this article. […]

    Reply
  • 21. kimsimon77  |  December 2, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Thanks for an amazing recipe, love your blog

    http://howtoloseweightezee.com/tropical-fruit-salad.html

    Reply
  • 22. Amazon  |  April 19, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to “return
    the favor”.I am attempting to find things to enhance my website!I
    suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

    Reply

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