If you read through my last foraging post about wild violets you might be wondering what the heck you would do with them once harvested! This violet syrup is super simple and super rewarding! Its finished result is a sweet, wild treat with a the beautiful violet tint of its wild heritage.
Violets bloom up here in zone 5 in late May to Early June depending on the year. They appear in gardens and yards, along road sides and streams… Many see them as a nuisance as once there, they are super hard to get rid of… Good thing I would rather grow food than a nice well manicured grass lawn! You can transplant these into flower beds or pots but beware they spread.. and they spread fast!
Personally I love them, their beautiful purple color and fragrance are one of the first signs that summer is right around the corner! That’s a real big deal around here! As always practice safe harvesting practices. Never over harvest (feed the bees!) and make sure the areas you are picking from are as free from pesticides and other environmental toxins as possible.
Harvest the blooms only by gently pulling them off the stem. I enlist my kids as cheap labor and it makes for a super fun family activity, not to mention a learning experience. One of the many lost arts I am hoping to pass on to my children, keeping the tradition alive through their knowledge.
How beautiful are these!
- 2 Cups Wild Violets
- ½ -2 Cups Sugar
- Zest of 1 small lemon, no pith
- 1-2 tsp lemon juice
- Enough boiling water to cover the flowers
- Remove stems and thoroughly run violets under cold water to clean. place violets in a large mason jar or other non reactive bowl. Cover with boiling water and let sit for 2 hours at least, and up to overnight. Strain violets and lemon zest through a wire mesh strainer capturing the violet water diffusion in a stainless steel pot. Add sugar and heat slowly stirring often ensuring sugar is dissolved until boiling. Boil for 4-6 minutes. Add 1 to 2 tsp fresh lemon juice. If you wish your syrup to finish off a warm violet color even less then one tsp can be used. The more lemon juice used the more pink/fuchsia the final product will be. Boil for 1 minute more and allow to cool slightly. Transfer into glass storage container. Store in the fridge!
This syrup has a nice wild flavor, it is awesome added to homemade butter cream icing, and also makes a fancy additive to cocktails. Add it to fresh squeezed lemonade as a sweetener and for a fancy purple drink!