Lilac Simple Syrup - A taste of spring!
While I have not (yet!) figured out how to make jewelry for you out of Lilacs... I do have a Lilac Syrup recipe to share! It is a little time consuming (not really that bad - and it is the best smelling job you will do this week, I promise)
This lilac syrup is lovely in fizzy water with a strawberry, or in champagne for a special cocktail, but my new favourite with this has to be in LEMONADE! Oh my stars it is delicious and refreshing.
The week that lilacs are in bloom is arguably one of the best weeks in the year. I throw open all my windows to let that familiar, soothing, and happy scent in. I'm so lucky that my lilac tree is right behind my bedroom window!
Lilac’s intoxicating smell is grounded and heady all at once. Ask around, lilac is so many people's favourite flower. You may remember pulling the blossoms from their cluster and sucking out the nectar as a kid, or bringing home clutches of blossoms with frayed edges where you tried to pick them from their woody stems for your mom when you were small. Whatever it is, most people have wonderful childhood memories associated with lilac. They're simply a beautiful flower.
And… many of you will not know this.. But not only are they edible, they TASTE HOW THEY SMELL!! How amazing is that?
Medicinal Properties of Lilac
Lilac is known for some pretty powerful medicinal properties, too.
- Antibacterial, antiviral.
- Cleansing the lungs, bronchi, reducing coughing, sore throat.
- Detoxifying the liver, purifying the blood.
- Aiding with headaches and rheumatic pains.
- Regulating blood pressure.
Notes on process
I highly recommend that you harvest your lilacs from a bush that is well away from traffic or any other source of pollutants.
When you are harvesting your lilacs, make sure to move around the tree and not harvest all from one spot. You can even harvest from multiple bushes if you have them!
Make sure you KNOW you are harvesting lilacs. If you aren’t sure, use a plant identifying app.
And finally I recommend using organic cane sugar. The colour will be a bit more brown, but the taste better, and the end product safer for your body.
-6 cups of fresh lilac blossoms
-3 cups of filtered water
-3 cups of organic cane sugar
ADVENTURE Time! (Directions)
Gather your lilac flowers
There are few things you will forage for that will bring you as much joy as lilacs! You’ll find that the white lilacs are not as fragrant or flavourful - have a little nibble of an individual blossom to see which ones are to your taste!
You are looking for flowers that have recently opened and have not yet turned brown. **Avoid cutting florets that have not fully blossomed yet, these will make your syrup bitter.
Prepare your Lilac Flowers
- Create somewhere lovely to sit with two large bowls and a pair of scissors in front of you. Pinching the petals of each individual flower, gently pull them from the stems. The goal here is to remove the flower without any of the green bits from inside (these will make your whole batch of lilac syrup bitter) The lilac flowers should slide smoothly off the stem. You may be able to grab 2-3 at a time, but I find that if I try to do more all the green stuff starts to get involved
- Take a moment to put your face in the bowl of blossoms and inhale deeply before you move on to the next step
- Cover your flowers in cool water for about 2-3 minutes (not too long, you don’t want to loose the aroma to the water)
- Strain the water off the flowers into a mesh strainer. Give them a few gentle shakes to remove excess water. But don’t worry too much about getting every drop.
Make your Lilac Syrup
- In a large pot (with a heavy bottom if possible) mix your organic sugar and filtered water over a medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the beautiful tiny lilac blossoms.
- Continue to stir this simmering, heavenly mixture for about 5 minutes.
- Remove your pot from the heat source and cover it.
- While this magical mixture is cooling the flowers are infusing the mixture with their beautiful magic. The entire process takes about 12 hours. So I recommend doing this after a long day in the garden. Put the syrup to bed on the counter for the night. And go to bed with heady dreams of flower fairies in your head.
Strain & Store your lilac syrup
- When you get up in the morning (or about 12 hours later) use a stainless steel funnel and sieve to pour your fresh lilac syrup into a large mason jar that you have a tight fitting lid for. Let it sit for about 3o minutes for every last drop of syrup to come out.
- Because this lilac syrup will only keep in the fridge for a week or two, I like to freeze the majority of mine into mini ice cube trays that I then consolidate into freezer zip loc baggies. These are perfect portion sizes and it means that you can be enjoying lilac drinks well into the winter… imagine!
Impress yourself and your friends with a refreshing lilac beverage. It pairs beautifully with plain sparkling water, ginger ale, champagne and even beer. And please if you like gin… try it with your gin and tonic!