A effervescent non-alcoholic traditional German sparkling beverage. Strong notes of citrus are accompanied by a beautiful sweet flavour and bouquet of lavender, created by infusing dried lavender flowers into a simple syrup mixture. This recipes makes extra lavender syrup so you can enjoy this Schorle all summer long! It's best to keep any left overs in a sealed bottle in the fridge to help retain its sparkle.
The scent of lavender never really appealed to me during my youth and early twenties. It wasn't until I ventured down the path of motherhood that I discovered a love for this old world flowering plant. I can certainly attest to its stress relieving and soothing properties; Lavender oil is often diffusing in our home before bed time... it's flowery resinous scent always calms my spirits after a busy day. It's no wonder my garden dreams include an entire section of the yard dedicated solely to growing Lavender. In the interim, one plant will do just fine. And, thankfully, lavender is very easy to source locally.
Nevermind Lavender, you're probably asking, "what the heck is Schorle"?
Schorle is a popular sparkling beverage (or spritzer), the term originating from 18th century Germany to basically mean 'mixed beverage'. It's essentially fruit juice or wine diluted with sparkling mineral water and served chilled. It's enjoyed year round, but is utterly perfect during the heat of the summer months. Most common is Apfelschorle (sparkling apple juice), and you've probably had something similar if you were ever served "fake champagne" during your youth. I absolutely loved that stuff as a kid, and feeling like I was so grown up as I carefully "sipped" (guzzled) from a fluted glass.
The spirit of summer inspired me to make a Schorle of my own using two unique flavours. I mean, I waited all year for my lavender to bloom, so it only seems appropriate to make good use of it...I didn't grow it for looks alone. Lavender flowers are gently infused into a simple syrup mixture made from a combination of cane sugar and maple syrup to lower the refined sugar content. Fresh squeezed lemon and orange juice pair so well with the taste/bouquet of lavender. The first sip of this bevy yields definite citrus notes followed by sweet lavender and dancing bubbles on your tongue. It's so refreshing, I could sip it all day long... unlike my former child self who didn't know the meaning of that verb. This recipe happily makes extra simple syrup, so you can enjoy this Schorle recipe all summer long.
I found myself enjoying a glass last week in somewhat of a celebratory fashion; news arose that I was picked as a finalist in the Taste Canada Awards! OMG I am truly over the moon, shocked and surprised to be listed among so many talented and inspiring Canadian food bloggers and culinary writers! You can check out the short list here. I want to thank all of you for being here and supporting The Simple Green...this is a labour of love I never knew would take a hold of my heart and lead me where it has. Thank you so much!
Enjoy the last day of July... and cheers to a hot and beautiful August on the way!
CITRUS LAVENDER SCHORLE
For the Lavender Simple Syrup:
- 2 tbsp dried organic lavender
- 1 cup filtered water
- ⅓ cup organic cane sugar
- ⅓ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
For the Schorle:
- 3 lemons
- 3 large navel oranges
- ⅓ cup + 3 tbsp lavender simple syrup
- 3 cups sparkling water
- ice cubes
- fresh lavender for garnish optional
Prepare the Lavender Simple Syrup:
In a small sauce pan, add the dried lavender and filtered water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and add the cane sugar and maple syrup; stir until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 15 minutes then remove from the heat and let steep for 1 hour at room temperature.
Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve (or cheesecloth) to remove the lavender flowers. Refrigerate for minimum one hour.
Prepare the Schorle:
Slice the lemons and oranges in half and juice using a citrus reamer. If desired, strain the juice through a fine mesh sieve to remove the pulp. Pour the juice into your serving jug and stir in the lavender syrup. Refrigerate until chilled. Just before serving, mix in the sparkling water and serve over ice.