Simple and Scrumptious: Violet Syrup
Hi there sweet friends!
Continuing to capitalize on the tastiest spring flower trend around… yes, that’s right, I’m talking about garden violets… today we’re going to boil up a batch of homemade violet syrup. As the warm weather continues and the soil temperature gradually rises, you might have seen these purple petals popping up in the garden. It seems as if each spring carries the promise of new, volunteer violet seedlings. This is, of course, something that I encourage.
Despite a relatively short flowering season, their fragrance and flavor are a welcome addition to any spring garden. Best of all, once the flowers have come to a halt, the neat rosette of fresh, green leaves sticks around all season. This petite and pretty little shade lover spreads itself through a network of stolons (above ground shoots) which then develop their own roots, beginning yet another cycle of new growth. If you’re in the market for a flowering groundcover to fill in a shady corner of your garden, these fragrant flowers just might do the trick.
In an effort to enjoy our mild weather and get outside, I grabbed a pair of gardening shears, a small basket, and the doggies before heading out into the garden. I looked high and low, parted blades of grass, and battled with stinging nettles (ouch!) in order to gather the six handfuls of flowers needed to flavor the syrup.
Once the flowers and I were safely inside, I poured them into a small bowl and gave them a good rinse. Then it was time to gather the remaining ingredients…
For traditional and tasty violet syrup you will need three simple ingredients:
- 6 small handfuls of violet flowers (roughly 3 ounces)
- 300 ml boiling water
- 200 ml of white sugar (you’ll need roughly equal parts sugar to water, depending on how sweet you like your syrup)
This recipe is super simple, it really only takes a bit of patience and a little time (about 24 hours, eek!).
Put your freshly picked and rinsed violets into a small pot before pouring the boiling water on top. Place the cover on the pot and let the violet water infuse overnight.
You should get whiffs of a strong violet odor when you remove the cover from the pot. Before you start boiling, you’ll have to strain the liquid from the flowers. I tried to use a strainer first but found that a thin cloth actually worked best. This stopped any and all residue from sneaking into the syrup.
The final step of preparing the syrup is to add the sugar. In order to do this, you’ll need to create a makeshift “bain-marie”. Basically, all this means is that you’ll need one larger pot of boiling water and one smaller pot holding your violet water. Simply rest your pot of violet water on top of the boiling water, and voila, you’ve got a bain-marie. With your pot of violet water safely nestled into it’s boiling bath, go ahead and add the sugar. You can do little taste tests along the way, if you’d like, in order to achieve the desired level of sweetness. Stir the syrup until all of the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove the pot holding the syrup from the boiling water and set aside.
Allow the syrup to cool before pouring it into a sterile bottle (putting a glass bottle through a standard cycle in the dishwasher will produce a sterile enough receptacle). Seal it up and store it in a cool place. You can keep it in the fridge for up to six months… if it’ll last that long!
My concoction developed an odd blue-ish hue rather than the typical lavender hue you’d expect from violet syrup. Nevertheless, when it was combined with water, it immediately turned a very pretty pale purple. Phew!
And the taste… yum! This stuff is as good as any store-bought product, if not better. I love knowing that it comes straight from the garden! I added a few frozen violet ice cubes for aesthetic appeal before graciously gulping down my tasty little treat.
By the way, you need not worry that any violet plants were harmed in the making of this post. They were immediately divided up and replanted… the more violets, the merrier!
I hope you guys enjoyed this simple recipe, and, for those of you with volunteer violets in the garden, this could make for one heck of a weekend project! Whether or not you give this a try, I wish you all a wonderful weekend, and I look forward to seeing you again on Monday :)