Lemon verbena is one of our favorite herbs. It's a tall, spare, long-leafed plant with slender leaves and a fragrance to die for. It's not hard to capture that fragrance in a simple syrup.
We grow lemon verbena out on the patio; we clip the top leaves regularly and so far it's doing beautifully.
This simple syrup is a snap to make. We have used it to flavor whipped cream (and layered it with plum sorbet) and we have a drink coming up shortly that takes a healthy helping of it too. It has a delicate citrus fragrance and taste, sweet and herbal and so refreshing - like the sweet smell of spring.
What's your favorite thing to do with lemon verbena?
Lemon Verbena Simple Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon verbena leaves
1/2 cup water
Chop and bruise the lemon verbena. Put sugar in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup water and stir to dissolve as it comes to a simmer over low heat. Let it simmer for just a couple minutes.
Stir in the lemon verbena and take off the heat. Let steep for fifteen minutes, then put in the refrigerator to cool completely.
(Images: Faith Hopler)