My first batch of lavender wine made my lips go numb after a single sip. I shared it with other heathens and they found it quite strong also. So of course the next time I had a crop of lavender from my garden, I made lavender vodka.  

In the summer and fall of 2016, I drew on Sigyn’s patience almost every day to get me through a particularly difficult time in caring for my mom. Often, when I went outside for some reason, even just to take out the garbage, I would see one of Sigyn’s butterflies, and I would relax. In the evening, in gratitude to her, I raised a toast with tonic water flavored with my lavender vodka.

One can make lavender wine from scratch, fermenting it, but mine is an extract. I extract lavender in already-made wine. I use a white wine and pick fresh lavender from my garden and just stuff it into the bottle and leave it for a few weeks, and then strain it into another bottle or a decanter. Extract of lavender in wine is powerfully herbal. So is lavender extracted in vodka. 

My garden started with one lavender bush, from which I made cuttings. I planted the cuttings in my front xeriscape. Butterflies and bees like it. I cut fresh lavender for bouquets, to dry for smoking wood for the barbecue, and for kitchen uses. The first thing I extracted lavender in was cooking oil. It was a success, so then I tried extracting it in vinegar, which was also a success, so then I went on to extracting it in wine, and finally vodka. These kitchen experiments went on over several years. 

When I first offered the toast with the lavender vodka tonic to Sigyn, I was acting on instinct. Since then, she has confirmed that she likes lavender, both as a drink and as fresh or dried flowers. 

Image: bottle in front of field of lavender by Alexas Fotos via Pixabay