Les Agnels Lavender Distillery
Corn is boring.
That’s one of our takeaways from Provence. We hate to speak ill of Brian’s native Illinois, but when you see the fields of Provence, you have to think those Provencal farmers have learned something about wonder and delight that their Illinoisan colleagues missed.
In Illinois, there’s corn. In Provence, there are grapes.
In Illinois, there’s more corn, as far as the eyes can see. In Provence, sunflowers fill the horizon.
In Illinois, there’s even more corn, knee high by the 4th of July. In Provence in July, they’re harvesting lavender.
We were running late when we visited Les Agnels lavender farm and distillery. We wanted to catch the four o’clock guided tour, and our GPS estimated that we’d get there at 4:10. Through some good luck, we had cut it down to 4:04 when we made a wrong turn; we eventually rolled into the parking lot at 4:15.
Our disappointment was assuaged by two things. First, we discovered that the tour was in French only; so we would have understood only about a quarter of it anyway. Second, while we arrived too late for the tour, we got there just in time to see the farmers unload an entire tractor load of lavender. There was something amazing about seeing a crop of flowers, piles and piles of them, just as beautiful to see and smell as a small bouquet, but in stacks above your head.
The farmers were using pitchforks and rakes to shovel the flowers into a huge mash. We stepped inside the farm stand to see what they make of this mash, and we discovered that flowers can be surprisingly useful. There were flavored waters, essential oils, cooking oils, syrups, soaps, and, finally, liqueurs. We, of course, chose the liqueur … and a little soap.
After touring the idyllic grounds a little more, we took our bottle home to experiment.
Lavender Margarita Cocktail Recipe
- 1.5 oz tequila
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1 oz lavender liqueur (or another floral liqueur, if you can’t find lavender; but look for lavender)
- Lemon wedge
- Use the lemon wedge to wet the rim of a cocktail glass, and then twirl the rim in a platter of salt to create a salt rim.
- Combine tequila, lemon juice, and lavender liqueur in an ice-filled mixing glass.
- Shake for 20 seconds.
- Strain into ice-filled glass.