It’s a gorgeous sunny April Sunday, threatening to hit 86 degrees, and I was picking through recipes and cookbooks as I often do on Sunday mornings. Somehow I tripped upon a celery soda water recipe on the Internet and from there I was on the search for flavored soda waters and how to make them. As I discovered many flavored soda waters start with a base of flavored simple syrup. I found many flavors of soda water from celery soda water to lavender soda water. I found something totally interesting and that was a recipe for Lavender Syrup (based on a recipe from The Girl and The Fig restaurant in Sonoma, CA). I thought that would be an interesting place to start.
And so I started playing with the recipe and went from there. On my monthly pilgrimage to Costco I found coconut sugar and bought a bag of it. I did want to change the lavender syrup recipe up as I didn’t want to use sugar but rather coconut sugar. I have been using coconut oil these days for frying my food and coconut milk and coconut cream when I make Thai food. So I thought coconut sugar must be healthy. I bought it sight unseen and did my research when I got home. Well coconut sugar is a powerhouse of nutrients too.
Coconut sugar is made from the sugar blossoms of the coconut tree. The one I bought is organic. Information I found online indicated that it is a natural sweetener and studies show promising results for people who suffer from conditions such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It has a low glycemic index: 35 which is 1/2 of the GI of white table sugar of 68. It is filled with lots of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Coconut sugar contains the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus and boron. It contains 12 of the B vitamins and 16 of the 20 amino acids. It’s a health powerhouse.
The bud of the coconut tree flower is sliced to release the sap or coconut nectar. The sap is boiled into a thick caramel. It is dried into crystals. It looks and tastes similar to brown sugar.
So I thought coconut sugar for the white sugar in the recipe that I found online. I also reduced the amount of sugar in the syrup as I thought it was sweet enough (I reduced the water to sugar ratio to 2:1 instead of 1:1). Once I made the syrup I let it cool and bottled it so I could use it to make Lavender, Rose Water Soda Water. I added 1 tablespoon of the syrup to 3/4 cup of soda water and garnished it with a sprig of mint for a refreshingly delicious drink on a hot Sunday afternoon.
Ingredients for Lavender/Rose Water Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/8 cup dried lavender flowers
- 1/8 cup rose water
- Bring water and sugar to a boil
- Add lavender flowers and rose water and simmer 10 minutes
- Let cool and strain into a clean jar or bottle
Yield: 200 ml or 13.5 tbl
Calories: 205 = 13 calories/tablespoon