Lovage simple syrup and a lovage cocktail

by autumn on May 28, 2012

I feel a bit like I need a pitch for this, like I can’t just post a recipe for syrup that tastes remarkably like celery without selling it first. This might have something to do with the fact that I spent a fair chunk of yesterday, catching up on a certain tv show, but I’m ready to roll out a full-on publicity blitz for lovage. There will most certainly be bad puns because (wait for it) you’ll love lovage.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who loves lovage enough to try to convince you to plant some, writes:

Lovage is native to western Asia and the Mediterranean, and was admired by the ancient Greeks and Romans for its medicinal as well as for its culinary properties – it was believed to cure everything from rheumatism to sore throats and indigestion. Medieval travelers tucked the leaves into their shoes because of their antiseptic and deodorising properties. Charlemagne was so smitten, he ordered it to be grown in all of his gardens. As the name suggests, it was also thought to be an aphrodisiac (we also used to call it “love parsley”).

Can you really say no to something called “love parsley?” In case you can, I’ll add that although celery is certainly a comparable taste to lovage, I really couldn’t care less about celery and I adore this syrup. Stirring it into some seltzer will be one of the more refreshing things you do for yourself this summer. This is the first week I caught it at the greenmarket here in the northeast, so now is an ideal time to seek some out.

Lovage Simple Syrup


  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar (I used refined white sugar for aesthetic reasons)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup (20 g) lovage roughly chopped

Cooking Directions

  1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat.
  2. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep for 30 minutes.
  3. Pass through a fine mesh strainer to remove the cooked lovage and refrigerate the syrup.
  4. Makes just shy of 1 pint.

My Sweet Celery Cocktail

Yield: 1 cocktail


  • 1 1/2 oz vodka (I used Tito's)
  • 3/4 oz lovage syrup
  • 3/4 oz St. Germain
  • seltzer

Cooking Directions

  1. Combine everything except the seltzer in a tumbler with ice cubes.
  2. Top with seltzer to taste and stir.


  • Adapted from Franny’s and the New York Times.
  • This cocktail is definitely on the sweet side. Cut it with some lemon juice or just add a little more seltzer if it’s too much for your taste.


Autumn Giles is the creator of Autumn Makes & Does and the co-host of the Alphabet Soup Podcast.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tigress May 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

i love lovage! Deborah Madison turned me onto it in one of her books years ago and now i have one very large plant. it’s as prolific as my rhubarb patch. this syrup looks awesome.


2 autumn May 28, 2012 at 11:05 am

Tigress, Thank you! I am tempted to try to grow some myself. I love it so.


3 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar May 28, 2012 at 11:00 am

I love a good cocktail! This sounds awesome.


4 autumn May 28, 2012 at 11:05 am

Thanks, Katrina!


5 Kate May 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm

The garden at our lake home sports an ENORMOUS lovage plant. I use the leaves for flavoring soups, much like celery (because the leaves of celery are my most favorite part of that vegetable) but the idea of making a simple syrup from it intrigues me. After all, the lovage is free.


6 erin @ yummy supper May 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I have lovage growing in my backyard – never even thought to make it into a syrup! So inspiring:)


7 Sarah May 30, 2012 at 1:43 am

I made the Franny’s cocktail for my best friend’s wedding several years ago. Lovage will now always remind me of her, Vermont, and the feeling of being deliciously tipsy at 2 in the afternoon. So very happy to have stumbled on your lovely blog!


8 autumn June 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Hi Sarah, Thanks for stopping by! What a lovely friend you are and that seems like such a perfect wedding drink.


9 lindsay | rosemarried May 30, 2012 at 5:04 am

damn it all. I was at my mother in law’s place this weekend (and she’s a champion herb gardener) and she asked me if I wanted any Lovage. I said, “Lovage? no idea.” And then I got home and saw 3 posts today with AMAZING lovage recipes. This looks/sounds amazing. Seriously, I want to drink this now. And I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take a lovage plant home!


10 lindsay | rosemarried May 30, 2012 at 5:04 am

Also: I have everything else at home to make this cocktail. Just not the lovage. Double kicking myself!


11 autumn June 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Aww. Lindsay, I am able to find it at the farmer’s market pretty consistently. Maybe you’ll get another chance at that lovage plant? I am considering adding it to my little fire escape forest. I really love it.


12 meg June 4, 2012 at 11:55 am

I’ve been wanting to make celery bitters for a long time now. Thanks for reminding me!


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