This homemade strawberry lavender syrup is the perfect spring condiment for pancakes, waffles, French toast, pound cake, or to mix in a bubbly drink. It's a quick and easy way to mix fresh spring flavor into your favorite recipes and beverages.
About the recipe
Ahhh the season of better produce is finally upon us! I was getting really tired of clementines and bananas. You know what I mean? Citrus fruits reach their peak in early March, and before you know it, most of the selection at the store is underripe, pithy, and mealy.
There are definitely periods of time when you can tell that seasonal produce is transitioning from one season to another (of course, you can just opt for canned and frozen options as well). But I'm so glad that strawberry season is in full swing! Strawberries are my 2nd favorite fruit - next to peaches, which will always reign supreme for me!
This strawberry lavender syrup was inspired by a recipe for strawberry chamomile syrup that I saw in one of my favorite cookbooks - Canning for a New Generation. It seemed like the perfect thing to drizzle on lemon ricotta pancakes, on plain yogurt or ice cream, and to mix in drinks.
Last year, my favorite spring sipper was this bubbly Blackberry Lime Spritzer (which I still love). But this year, I'm planning to swirl this strawberry lavender syrup into lemonade, sparkling water, iced tea, smoothies, and more.
- Fresh strawberries - you want them to be peak-season for the best flavor. Frozen strawberries are preserved at peak ripeness and would be a fine substitute.
- Raw granulated cane sugar - this type of sugar is my favorite to use for syrups because of the depth of flavor it gives.
- Honey - the flavor of honey combined with tea is so comforting!
- Lavender tea bag - I use the Sleepytime Lavender from Celestial Seasonings.
- Fresh lemon juice - only use fresh lemons for this for the best flavor.
- Cook down the berries - gently simmer berries in a saucepan until they are almost completely broken down.
- Strain out the berry juice - return the juice to the pot and use the strained fruit for a smoothie or yogurt topping.
- Add the flavorings, bring to a boil and simmer - this will reduce the liquid to the texture of syrup.
- Chill and serve - the syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.
Taste your strawberries first - you want to make sure they are ripe, smell fragrant and fruity, and have a nice sweetness to them. They should not be crunchy or tart!
The overall flavor of the berry will heavily influence the final product of your strawberry syrup, so try and buy the best tasting strawberry that you can - and be sure to wash them beforehand!
Tinker with the sugar + water ratio at your own risk - for something to be considered a "syrup," it needs to have a certain viscosity or thickness to it. And to achieve a syrupy consistency, you've got to use enough sugar.
Traditional simple syrup is a 1:1 sugar to water ratio, so I'm following that rule with this recipe and using a combination of honey and raw cane sugar for depth of flavor.
Lavender tea bags make things simple - using a lavender tea bag in the syrup is a simple, mess-free way to infuse herbal notes in your syrup without going overboard - you don't want your syrup to taste like perfume! Simple and subtle is what we are going for here.
Plan to multi-task - both phases of making this recipe involve 20 minutes of simmer time. So while you make this strawberry lavender syrup, definitely plan to work on something else in the kitchen. It's not a fussy recipe - you just need to stir it every couple of minutes or so.
To skim or not to skim? Depending on your berries, there may be some foam to skim off as the berries cook down into a syrup and then as you reduce the liquid syrup. You can see a bit of the foam on the top of the jar in my photos. This doesn't bother me, but you can certainly skim off the foam as needed!
Storage - strawberry lavender syrup should be stored in the refrigerator and will keep for several weeks. I'd label it with the date it was made and try to use within one month.
Some of my favorite foods to serve this syrup with include:
- Plain yogurt
- Ice cream
- Pancakes, waffles, or French toast
- Use it as a frosting with strawberry cupcakes or icing flavoring
- Cold Brew Iced tea
- Mimosas, bellinis, spritzes
And I'm sure you can think of more yummy ways to use it - let me know what you come up with in the comments below!
Are you ready to try this Strawberry Lavender Syrup? I’m so excited for you to try this recipe. Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you! Leave a comment and rate the recipe below. This will help me with the creation of future recipes! I’d also love to feature your creation in my monthly newsletter, so you can upload a photo to Instagram or Twitter with the tag @sweetcayenne5 to be featured!
Strawberry Lavender Syrup
- 1 ½ lbs strawberries, rinsed and hulled (about 3 cups)
- ½ cup water
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 lavender tea bag
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained
- Put the strawberries in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occassionally, until the fruit has broken down into small pieces, about 15 minutes.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, gently strain the juice from the strawberry pulp (use the pulp in smoothies) and return the juice to the pan. Add the sugar, honey, tea bag, and lemon juice. Boil, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until the mixture has reduced by about ⅓ and is syrupy. It should coat the back of a spoon, and the final yield should be about 1 ¼ cup of syrup.
- Cool completely and store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Use as a topping for pancakes, waffles, French toast, ice cream, or stir into your favorite drink like a flavored simple syrup!