Now that lilacs are in bloom
She has a bowl of lilacs in her room
And twists one in her fingers while she talks.
"Ah, my friend, you do not know, you do not know
What life is, you who hold it in your hands"; (slowly twisting the lilac stalks)
"You let it flow from you, you let it flow,
And youth is cruel, and has no remorse
And smiles at situations which it cannot see."
I smile, of course,
And go on drinking tea.
T. S. Eliot (2012). “The Waste Land, Prufrock and Other Poems”, p.13, Courier Corporation
Lilac syrups are an easy delicious way to enjoy Spring. Just as with our other #blossomsyrup you'll want to pick your flowers, de-stem them, and wash. Don’t worry about drying them because they will get packed right into a jar. Don’t forget:
If you are picking somewhere that is not your own, always ask, and better yet offer a gift in exchange. I like to give back some of the product I make when I am generously given an opportunity to pick someone else’s bounty. We use this concept when the land is now “owned” as well. Pay homage to the Earth, even if it’s a blessing or thanks given in your head.
We prefer to pick in areas that are not right next to a major road/highway, have not been recently sprayed with chemicals, and has enough bounty to sustain whatever it is we are picking.
I love the layers of colors on this one with the different shades of lilac. Our generous neighbors let me pick some, so we have the full spectrum of white, lavender, and deep purple. And the smell!!! Heavenly ❤❤❤🌸
Much of the fun with blossom syrups is you really can’t go wrong. This is Kristen writing this post, so I’m going to teach you the “wing it” method. Keely likes precision, so you’ll get exact measurements with her (stay tuned for her dandelion capers recipe).
LILAC SYRUP “WING IT” METHOD
Generally speaking you will want to add 1/4 of the volume in sugar. This was a quart jar so I added roughly 1/2 pint (1 cup). You don’t really need to measure though. Just tightly pack the jar and fill in as much sugar as you can.
Then fill in as much water as you can after that. It was probably another 1 cup of water that I was able to add. The flowers are packed as tight as I could so it takes a little patients to allow it all to settle in. Make sure to shake the jar so that all the blossoms eventually are coated in sugar water.
Let sit for 3-4 days (although you will be able to use it after 1!). I just keep mine on the counter. Theoretically if it is in a warm to hot place it has a higher potential of growing things (like yeast) on you. But you will use it quick enough. If you have concerns you can keep it in the fridge or a cool dark place (your seller).
After 3-4 days, strain and bottle. I keep mine in the fridge so it lasts a little longer. If you’d like you can add lemon to preserve it longer, but note that it changes the taste. If you want to do this I recommend adding the lemon after it has macerated. This syrup is so good it doesn’t last too long anyways, so I generally don’t bother (lemon on the counter was for the purple asparagus for dinner).
We get asked often if you can do this with other sugar mediums and you can. Lilac honey is also delicious, or if you want to test your hand at coconut sugar, etc. They all seem to work out well.
And as a general disclaimer that should be obvious: make sure you know the plant you are picking before you make something out of it or shove it into your pie hole. Enjoy!