Wondering how to take your happy hour up a notch?
My super secret, ultra-chic ingredient to take you from apéritif to apéri-chic is:
Lavender buds. In your champagne.
Yes, you can eat lavender. Yes it’s delicious. Yes it will change your life. I honestly believe that lavender is one of the most underestimated ingredients in the food world.
I like to crush a few buds between my fingers to release the oils and aromas and then toss them in the bottom of a champagne glass (mine are from here and yes they are the Gossip Girl ones). Fill ‘er up with your favourite champs, prosecco or cava and you are good to go. If you like something on the sweeter side, I recommend this one.
But I wouldn’t go pricking a few buds off your neighbour’s plant just yet. There are hundreds lavender varietals and not all are that palatable.
If you are planning to consume lavender for culinary purposes, you want to make sure you are using one that is grown and intended for consumption. I like to order mine from the Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm, a Canadian farm. If you prefer the essence of lavender without the buds, they also produce a culinary lavender oil that is grown and distilled on-site. They have a few different oils, so if you are ordering it for culinary purposes, make sure you specify you want the maillette when you order. Keep in mind that the essential is incredibly potent. This is not your average, watered-down essential oil from the drugstore. A drop or two of maillette could flavour the entire champagne bottle so less is more here.