Sweet violets (Viola odorata) are a lovely, low-lying purple flower that blooms in the spring. Found in shady to partially shady locations, they are called sweet violets because of their delicate sweet aroma.
One incredible feature of this flower is its vibrant purple-blue colour. Although the flower comes in various shades of purple, from light to dark, it can occasionally be found in white or speckled purple on white.
Violets are edible flowers, that may be used in a number of ways. Decorate your plate with them by using them as a garnish, freeze them inside ice cubes, dress a cake with them prior to baking, or create the most gorgeous vibrant purple simple syrup!
In this post, I will share my recipe for Classic Violet Syrup. Once you see how easy it is to make, you’ll want to bottle it each spring!
This simple recipe only requires 4 ingredients – violet flowers, sugar, water and lemon juice. The ratio of flower water to sugar for this recipe is 1:1.
Hint: Use this simple syrup recipe to make other flower syrups like lilac, peony, rose and lavender. The ratio of flower petals to sugar would be the same for each edible flower.
Recipe for Classic Violet Syrup:
- 3 cups violet flowers, petals only
- 3 cups sugar, white or cane sugar
- water, enough to cover flowers
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Remove violet petals from all flower parts.
- Gently wash all flower petals, to remove any dirt or insects.
- Gently squeeze out water and place into a 4-cup glass measuring cup or large glass bowl.
- Boil water and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Pour the slightly cooled boiled water over the violets, until just covered.
- Cover the measuring cup with a tea towel and leave to soak for approximately 24 hours.
- The next day, drain the flowers into another 4-cup glass measuring cup, squeezing out any additional water.
- Measure the total amount of violet water, then measure out the equivalent amount of sugar. Should equal to 3 cups of each. Add the sugar to the violet water.
- Place the measuring cup with violet water and sugar into a pot to create a double boiler, or use a bain marie.
- Fill the pot with an inch or two of water and place on a low-medium heat. The goal is to gently warm the mixture, not boil it. Boiling the mixture will cause the colour of the syrup to be compromised.
- Gently stir the mixture over the low heat until all sugar melts. You will know this happened when you can no longer hear the grains of sugar under your spoon.
- Cook for an additional 5 minutes on low heat.
- Remove from the heat and add the squeezed lemon juice. Then watch as your syrup turns a brilliant purple colour!
- Bottle your syrup and store in the fridge for up to 6 months (if it will last that long! 😉 )
Some ideas for using your Violet Syrup:
Violet syrup, like other flower syrups, make a great alternative to simple syrup. The ratio of sugar to water is the same. The benefit of using flower syrup is the aroma and gorgeous colour that it adds!
Examples: gin cocktails, whisky old-fashioned cocktails, mint juleps and other whisky cocktails, rum cocktails and daiquiries.
When making lemonade, it is always best to use simple syrup, rather than sugar. Sugar is difficult to dissolve when cold, often resulting in it settling at the bottom of the pitcher. Simple syrup is a perfectly balance liquid sugar. When mixing it with the squeezed lemon juice and water, it mixes evenly resulting in a perfectly sweetened beverage. The benefit of using flower syrups, like violet syrup, is the gorgeous colour that it adds. Violet syrup will turn your yellow lemonade into stunning pink!
Ice cream or sorbet
Infuse your ice cream with a violet syrup to add colour naturally. Use your flower syrup to make sorbet.
Drizzle violet syrup over a cup of berries or a fruit salad. Control the sweetness with the amount that you add.
I hope you too feel inspired to make your own floral syrup. The ratio of flower water to sugar is the same, regardless of the flowers used. If violets aren’t available, use lavender or lilacs. Any edible flower will do!