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shinsain

Can you use lavender for distillation

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Sorry for the two threads in one day, but I've been wondering this for a while: can/did/would/has someone used lavender for distillation? Lavender is one of my favorite herbs but I'm not sure about its toxicity or flavor.

 

Just wondering...sorry to use bandwidth for a simple question.

 

Aaron

 

Edit: just saw the Wikipedia article and it notes that it can be used as a tea? Hmm...

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Hmm, well, I guess this answers whether it can be taken internally or not....

 

I just happen to use it for a lot of things, it is very relaxing and very calming to me. I thought it might be a decent addition to a distillation, but if it tastes like soap, probably not.

 

I'll make some tea out of it and experiment I guess.

 

Thanks.

 

Also: steeped and drank as in tea, or alcohol?

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We visited a Lavender Farm on San Juan Island a couple of years ago. When I first stepped out of the vehicle, I thought it must be wonderful to be surrounded every year by such a perfume. Ten minutes later, I was hoping to never smell Lavender again. Too cloying, even for soap.

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I love lavender and yes it can be taken internally. Pensieve and I bought the most lovely cheese from Beachers across from the Pike Street market. It was flavoured with lavender and anise. lavender tastes pretty much as it smells.

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When ingesting lavender, it is best to know that it wasn't sprayed with pesticides or anything that is harmful to humans. Organic is always best.

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I'd bet lavendar as a flavoring can't even be identified if you can't smell it. I saw a clip on TV of several people blind tasting a small amount of cinnamon while they tightly pinched their noses. The best anybody did was identify a little warmth, until they let go of their noses - instantly each knew they were tasting cinnamon. Bet the same is true with lavendar, you might recognize a little sweetness from the nectar but probably nothing else. I tried the cinnamon thing with my wife, she had no idea. Might have to try it with lavendar.

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I'd bet lavendar as a flavoring can't even be identified if you can't smell it.

 

One could say that about practically any flavor.

 

It's amazing how much of a role our senses of smell play in identifying, and fleshing out a flavor profile.

 

One of my most wonderful, and yet miserable weekends was spent in October of '94, at the Great American Beer Festival, in Denver. During the flight there, I developed a major sinus condition, and this lasted throughout the weekend, making it impossible for me to even come close to fully appreciating the 200+ beers I sampled.

 

Thankfully, at least, it didn't put a damper the continuous, pleasant buzz plateau that I managed to remain on, throughout my visit.

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Of course you're absolutely right about the huge role scent plays in taste. Had a sinus condition myself this past winter that left me with zero sense of smell for several days. Very strange to cook bacon for my boys and smell absolutely nothing.

 

This is courtesy of Grey Boy, in case you missed it.

 

Now, take a dry gin of you choice, add a Tablespoon or two of lavender to it and let it steep for a few weeks, until you think it's done. Strain off lavender and use gin for G&Ts or martinis, perfect summer flavor.

I will pass along my lavender margaritas at a future time.

 

We're still waiting for the margaritas recipe. :wave2:

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Yeah, I've been experimenting with steeping things in arak, small, test portions, to try and decipher what herb I'm smelling/tasting when I drink absinthe.

 

I've found out so far that I Hyssop is that milky thickness that makes me love CLB, Melissa is that grassy flavor in VdF along with Fennel and Angelica is the flavor I HATE in Herbsaint and in general. Wormwood is definitely bitter-as-hell and I now recgonise that I have tasted two absinthes that which were crafted using Ordinairre's(sp) Blunder.

 

Very good stuff.

 

I actually steeped a some hyssop and a little bit of lavender in some Absente today and it came out pretty drinkable...go figure. Its fun to play, as long as you don't mess up anything expensive.

 

*runs off to buy an absinthe kit from ebay to make Vodkasinthe*

 

:laf:

 

Aaron

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I'll give you this, Shinsain: you're one mad, mad scientist of an absinthe drinker. I've got to give you credit for having so much dedication to understanding what you're drinking. Purposefully recreating Ordinaire's Blunder (there's a proper term for that?) takes some chutzpah!

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Wormwood is definitely bitter-as-hell and I now recgonise that I have tasted two absinthes that which were crafted using Ordinairre's(sp) Blunder:laf:

Many Czech absinth makers intentionally use un-distilled wormwood extract.

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quote: Martin Lake

I'm mostly trying to sort this out by drinking absinthe and going, "Hmmm...that's good. I wonder what that is."

 

 

 

As am I. Between brands and ratios, it's an interesting endeavor.

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shinsain, that's a great method you've got there. Kudos on the creative approach!

 

Most of us just sniff and taste herbs to try to figger it out; but putting them in combination with arak can help you see how they interact. It'd also be a cheap way to test different combinations of herbs and see how they intermingle.

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I'm in love with Lavender. It makes great tea, and is wonderful in martinis and absintinis. 2 parts Lavender infused gin, a dash of absinthe (more on the bitter side ie Lemercier Amer) and finished with a lychee... mmmmm.

 

Other great things you can make with lavender include Roast Lamb or pork with Lavender, or if you've got access to it, Kangaroo fillet with Lavender is incredible. You can also make (and in some places even buy) Lavender Honey and Jam, Lavender muffins, Lavender Shortbread and Lavender Sorbet, which is really yummy.

 

Most of the recipes I use I found on the web, but there are lavender cook books around. As for buying it, I would just grow it. Lavender will grow pretty well without your help so as long as you have access to dirt you can more or less be guaranteed of a continual supply of clean, fresh, organic and most importantly free lavender. In my neighborhood, it's actually considered somewhat of a weed.

 

Remember, Lavender is a sedative, so much so that old lavender farms used to have problems with workers falling asleep on the job. So don't operate heavy machinery.

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shinsain, that's a great method you've got there.  Kudos on the creative approach!

 

Most of us just sniff and taste herbs to try to figger it out; but putting them in combination with arak can help you see how they interact.  It'd also be a cheap way to test different combinations of herbs and see how they intermingle.

 

Thanks, it was relly bugging me that I couldn't figure out what I was drinking. I kept drinking Herbsaint and going "What the hell is that nasty flavor!!" same thing with Chartreuse (although there are many, many more things wrong with Chartreuse).

 

I chose arak because it is merely grape alcohol and aniseed...a good base flavor to mesh the others with.

 

At first I was simply chewing on the herbs and getting mostly a mouthfull of grass and sometimes some weird bowl movements, then I decided I was going to see if steeping things would bring out their nose at least so that I could figure out what the hell it was I liked so much about the absinthes I drank...and it did.

 

Boy am I glad I found out I like Hyssop so much!

 

post-137-1149503606.jpg

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2 parts Lavender infused gin, a dash of absinthe (more on the bitter side ie Lemercier Amer) and finished with a lychee...

Man, that sounds good.

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Your infusions are interesting, although keep in mind that an herb distilled can often have noticeably different flavours than if it is only macerated. If you're using coloring herbs for your infusion tests, that's fine, but other herbs may surprise you as to how they change once distilled. Wormwood, of course, exhibits the most drastic differences between distilled and macerated.

 

As for Lavender, I have had 2 or 3 different absinthes that used it. In very small quantities, it pleasantly but subtly enhances the aroma, and is best in blanches, although it is very easy to add too much, and that's what makes it soapy. There is a Lavender liqueur from Provençe which is pretty interesting, although a little sugary for my taste. It's hard to find, but if you can find it mix it with Arak and see what the results are.

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2 parts Lavender infused gin, a dash of absinthe (more on the bitter side ie Lemercier Amer) and finished with a lychee...

Man, that sounds good.

 

That might even motivate me to try gin again. Whadayathink, Drink Boy? ;)

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Your infusions are interesting, although keep in mind that an herb distilled can often have noticeably different flavours than if it is only macerated.

Well, from what I can tell, the only one that seriously changes is wormwood. The Melissa, Hyssop, Angelica and Fennell tasted specifically (in absinthe) like they smelled (in my infusions) and I was able to detect each one's taste/smell correlation from the experiments vs. drinking an actual distilled product such as absinthe.

 

As for taste, wormwood again is the only one that didn't really smell like anything per se, but tasted like ass. All the other herbs had a noticible smell when macerated/infused/steeped in the arak - like you knew them by smell. Wormwood on the other hand didn't really smell much more than "grassy" sort of...and then we all know how it tastes.

 

Also, I'm doing this strictly for taste/smell association and to better understand the complicated bouquet of many absinthes...not to try and recreate any specific taste. I'm not trying to steepsinthe anything....

 

Aaron

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If it didn't smell like anything, you probably weren't smelling very good wormwood. Wormwood flowers definitely have an aroma to them. They also have a taste, if you're able to pick it out before the bitter hits your tongue.

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At first I was simply chewing on the herbs and getting mostly a mouthfull of grass and sometimes some weird bowl movements

 

You may want to try it in one of these recipes to see if it tastes better. Oh, and maybe a more stable pipe. :devil:

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Indeed.

 

In all seriousness I do find it interesting that I like everything I have tried. I do not claim to have the most discerning palate but it's not bad. I can pick flavours out. It's just that they all taste pretty good to me. I can't imagine sinking one, from Serpis to Edouard (and above). I suppose I should mention that I have not tried Hills or KoSG, but even the more malined like FG or VdF are quite pleasant to me.

 

Now, if I could just get Hiram's "Rare photo of Jackson Pollock at work" out of my head.

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