The smell of fresh lilacs is one of the great treats of spring and now that they are starting to fade, why not use those blossoms to make lilac syrup?
The delicate flavor of those purple blossoms pair wonderfully with lemon or strawberries so it can sweeten homemade lemonade or add flavor to fruit berry desserts. It’s also wonderful in craft cocktails like Lilac & Lemons (see below).
Gather the freshest blossoms you can find, then remove all the purple blossoms, discarding any green stems. Rinse thoroughly in cold water, then add to simple syrup, simmer and let steep. Whey strained, the syrup is a pale golden color that adds a hint of light purple color to your beverages and a delicate violet/lilac herbal flavor. Delish!
- 2 cups lilac blossoms
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
Gather and rinse fresh blossoms. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add lilac blossoms and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a lidded container. Cool completely, cover and let steep for 8 hours. Line a wire strainer with a coffee filter and let the syrup slowly strain. Place in a clean jar or bottle, cover and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups.
(Note: Lilac syrup lasts for about two weeks in the refrigerator. To make it last longer, pour into an ice cube tray and freeze until needed.)
Lilac & Lemons Cocktail
- 1 -2 oz good quality gin
- 1/2 oz lilac syrup
- splash of lemonade
- club soda
- lemon slice, to garnish
Combine gin, lilac syrup and lemonade in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with lemon. Cheers!