If you know me at all you know I LOVE flowers, especially edible flowers. My garden is filled with them from late spring to early fall. The first to bloom in these parts are violets and these cheerful purple blooms have held always held a special space in my heart. I think it stems from picking them as a little girl around my birthday and always having them on my birthday cake. Little patches of wild violets would grown around the base of a giant hemlock tree in our backyard in Connecticut. I remember laying down among them in the spring sunshine and picking little violet bouquets for my mom. We would make sugared violets together for my birthday cake and looking back now it was one of those magical childhood memories that stay with you.
I didn’t know this then but common violets have a magic power. Yup. It’s true! They can change color. If you add acid to violets they turn pink! Something to do with the pH. So after you make the violet syrup below you can make color changing pink violet lemonade. Add the lemon juice last to watch the magic happen. Kids love this trick! And for an adult beverage try making violet mojitos and the lime juice should do the same thing.
I think May is officially becoming my favorite month on the island because the winters are loooooong and the explosion of flowers just gets me so excited. More edible flower recipes are coming your way this month and throughout the summer so stay tuned. Our season is a little behind most of the country but I hope you can still find violets where you are! And if not then you can also use this method for any edible flower or blossom. I can’t promise other flowers will change color the same way but it’s still a great way to preserve the floral notes to use throughout the year.
Can’t wait to see all of your creations with this. Please tag me (@fareisle) in the the photo and use the hashtag #fareisle so I can see them!
recipe after the jump…
Wild Violet Syrup & Magical Color-Changing Pink Violet Lemonade
A spring time delight! Turn beautiful purple edible violets into a syrup and then watch it magically turn pink when mixed with lemon juice for the best lemonade of your life!!!
- 2 cups loosely packed edible violets to violas
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1 cup honey or granulated sugar
Violet Pink Lemonade
- 2 tablespoons violet syrup (or to taste)
- 1 cup water or sparkling water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- violet ice cubes
- lemon slice, fresh mint, violets for garnish
To make syrup:
- In the evening fill a jar with the fresh picked violet flowers. Pour boiling water over violets and cover the jar. Steep overnight for best results.
- Strain violet infusion into a small saucepan. Add honey or sugar and allow mixture to come to a low boil then reduce heat to a rolling simmer. Simmer to a runny syrup consistency, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. It should start to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon or sides of pan when swirled. The syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Meanwhile, sterilize a small heat-proof glass bottle or jar and lid by filling it with boiling water.
- Pour hot syrup straight into the sterilized bottle and seal. Store syrup in a cool dark cabinet or refrigerate.
To make lemonade:
- Stir 2 tablespoons of violet syrup (or to taste) per 1 cup of water in a drinking glass. Wait to add lemon juice if you want to create a magic color change.
- Add ice cubes. Then pour in lemon 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and stir. Watch the color change to pink!! Kids love this!
Syrup should keep for about 6 months.
You can also scale this up and make a full pitcher of lemonade.
To make violet ice-cubes, add violet flowers to an ice cube tray and then fill with water. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours.
You can also use violet syrup in other drinks and cocktails. Violet mojito anyone??? You can follow this method to make other edible flower or blossom syrups as well.
Did you make a recipe?
Tag @fareisle on Instagram and hashtag it #fareisle.
A version of my recipe was first printed in issue 19: WANDER of Taproot Magazine in 2016. You can order back issues here.
Prop Love: Petit four plates and brass spoon by Facture Goods. Naturally dyed gauze towel by Nade Studio. Cheese board by Sweet Gum Co. Backdrops by Erickson Surfaces. Linen coasters by Not Perfect Linen.