[ RECIPE – EASTER LEMON VERBENA SYRUP ]
Vegan, Dairy Free but NOT sugar free – sorry!
Autumn is my favourite time of year. It used to be Summer – when I was younger…
The colours, the dreaminess of it all and the slowing down of nature before the cold Winter sets in.
I love those typical Autumnal sleepy days , with warm long rays of sunlight that touch the earth just long enough to keep it warm before the cold of night creeps in. We now have our open fire crackling away. I love waking when it’s slightly chilled, enjoying the warmth of the sun on my skin during the day and then retiring at night as the cooler temperatures prepare us for the months ahead.
We went ‘home’ for Easter to see my mummy…she’s 75 and going strong!
I love going ‘home’ to the bush – it’s where I feel most alive, most relaxed and peaceful. The puppies just love it. They can roam free, bark and smell all day long – until they fall into their beds at night exhausted from their adventures!!! Mum has a large garden – so many hours are spent in its upkeep – lawns, hedges, paths and weeding are never ending. It’s very therapeutic gardening…I love it. I love seeing the fruits of my labour at the end of the day. I think sometimes that I almost hear the garden say ‘thank you’ for all the love that we give it…
One of my favourite bushes in her garden, is the Lemon Verbena. It’s wild, free, unkempt, fruitful and produces a plethora of juicy green fragrant leaves for harvest. Every time I go back home, I take branches with me when I leave.
Once home, I have the delightful task of stripping the branches. My whole house and hands smell of glorious Lemon Verbena – it’s sublime. I strip and pick the leaves and leave them on a baking tray to air dry. Once completely dry (about 4 days), I pack them in an air tight container to be used for teas and tisanes for the months ahead. I use these leaves for a myriad of other magical recipes too – it’s like I have a little piece of my ‘bush home’ – right here by the ocean.
Having just arrived back…I decided that I’d make some Lemon Verbena Syrup with my fresh leaves before they dried.
It’s a super easy recipe and very delicious.
[ THE INGREDIENTS ]
- 1 x cup sugar
- 1 x cup water
- 1/2 x cup bruised and chopped fresh Lemon Verbena leaves
[ THE METHOD ]
Place the sugar and water into a saucepan and gently dissolve the sugar. Bring the ingredients to a gentle boil.
Add the chopped Lemon Verbena and TURN THE HEAT OFF.
Stir the leaves into the hot syrup and allow them to steep for 20 minutes. Pour the mixture into a jug and place in the fridge to cool completely. I usually leave mine overnight to ensure the flavour is deep.
The next day, in a clean jug – strain the leaves from the liquid.
I love the pale colour that the leaves impart…and the gentle Lemon Verbena flavour that is so delicate. Nature is amazing. Once separated you can then use this golden liquid as a base for all our delicious drinks.
In a pretty glass I add ice, pour over the syrup, add spring water, a wedge of lime and a spring of lavender (if available)…its heaven!
I hope you enjoyed your Easter and that in the dreamy Autumnal afternoons ahead of us, you’ll sip on this beautiful drink and be in heaven like me!
Remember food is your fuel…
Love Jess x