Making a simple syrup is as easy as its name. And lemon verbena is one of the best candidates out there for the job. Hence: a lemon verbena simple syrup.
Now, the question is, why would you do this? Think of a simple syrup as a flavor shot, a flavor boost. Simple syrups often find their way into your finest cocktails or get infused into a bowl of whipped cream, or are drizzled over fresh fruit salads or desserts. I went through a spell a while back where I was making rhubarb version regularly and turning it into a soda; just combine it with seltzer and a squeeze of lime, and you're good to go. I've also done mint and ginger simple syrups, but the possibilities are infinite.
You can make as much or as little of it as you need; typically the ratio of sugar to water is the same. Here, I've provided instructions for a lemon verbena version, simply because I wanted to use up the bit that I had from a friend (thanks, Donna!) I'm now wishing I had lemon verbena, not lemon balm, all over my yard. The leaves were starting to dry out a little bit in my hot kitchen, despite the fact that I had them in some water, but never fear: they were still loaded with fragrance and oils.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon verbena leaves, chopped and crushed to release their oils
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Add the crushed verbena and remove the pot from the heat. Let it steep for 15-20 minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely. When you're ready to use it, strain out the leaves into a small jar or bottle; I like to use my Good Seasons salad dressing jars I inherited from my mom. Simple syrup keeps for an awfully long time.
The lighting in my kitchen was sort of odd yesterday morning--the pot is imbued with this weird tungsten-y light. Go figure.