Today I’m making lemon verbena simple syrup as a quick way to preserve my harvest. Lemon verbena is my favorite herb. It smells wonderfully fresh and inviting. I think it has the best lemon fragrance, even better than lemon balm, and right up there with fresh lemon.
I planted a lemon verbena hedge of twelve plants in my garden this year so I really have it in abundance.
Here in the South, it grows as a perennial. In the North, you’ll want to grow it in a pot so it can be protected indoors during the winter. Even the slightest frost will cause its leaves to fall and a prolonged freeze will kill it completely.
Making a flavored simple syrup is one way to preserve your herb harvest. It can be made from sugar, water, and any leafy green herb you choose. If you have extra mint, basil, or lavender give it a try. Always use the same ratio: 1 cup of water, to 2 cups of sugar, plus 1 cup of herbs.
Here’s the process for making lemon verbena simple syrup
You will need:
- 1 cup of water
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 – 2 cups of lemon verbena leaves
- sauce pan
- wire whisk
- bowl or pan with a lid
- canning jar or another bottle with a lid
- makes 2 cups
Harvest fresh leaves in the morning as soon as the dew has dried. That will ensure the oils are at their maximum. You’ll need at least one cup of fresh cut herbs. You can see I cut a generous handful and ended up with around 2 cups. Give the herbs a rinse under cold water and a pat dry.
Remove the leaves from the woody stems and give them a quick chopping to help release the oils. Place the leaves in a heat resistant bowl or stainless steel pan that can be covered.
Place the sugar and water into a small saucepan on high heat. Bring it to a rolling boil, whisking until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once it boils for around 30 seconds the syrup will turn clear. Remove it from the heat.
Pour the hot syrup over the lemon verbena leaves. Stir until all the herb is covered in syrup. (Don’t forget to take a whiff, it’s heavenly!) Cover the bowl with a plate, plastic wrap, or pan lid and leave it on the stovetop until it completely cools. The covering acts just like steeping tea and helps to keep the volatile oils in the liquid.
When it has cooled, pour the mixture through a kitchen strainer to separate the syrup from the leaves. It helps to press down on the leaves with a spoon or spatula to extract as much lemony goodness as you can.
Bottle the syrup and refrigerate. It will last for at least a month, although I really doubt you’ll have it around that long.
Related post: Lemon Verbena – From Tea to Tincture
This process works for all leafy herbs. If you are using roots as the medium be sure and check out how I make Ginger Simple Syrup.
One thing to note – this syrup does have a slightly “herby” taste. It definitely is lemony, but not as intense as the actual leaf scent. I made lemonade straight away and couldn’t taste the herbiness at all.
5 Ways to use Lemon Verbena Simple Syrup
- Lemon verbena lemonade
- Add it to milkshakes
- Drizzle over cupcakes
- As a flavoring in icing or filling
- As a sweetener in morning tea
Lemon verbena simple syrup is easy to create and a great addition to your pantry. In just a few hours you’ll have the makings of a terrific lemonade or a fine addition to your morning tea. Give it a try!
There are affiliate links in this post and I’m sharing some of my favorite kitchen things from Amazon. When you purchase from my affiliate links I receive a small commission and it doesn’t cost you extra. Not enough to purchase a set of canning jars mind you, but I’ll eventually be able to afford more organic sugar to make syrup! Thanks for the support.