How to Make Wild Violet Syrup

This post about how to make wild violet syrup was brought to you by Zulka Morena pure cane sugar, who provided a product sample for our use in this recipe.

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 10.09.59 PMMy grandmother always loved wild violets. I do, too, and that’s why they were the flowers I chose for my wedding. Not the smartest move, perhaps, since the edible candied violets were impossible to find and I had to order some that were imported from France. They sat atop vanilla bean cupcakes swirled with white chocolate buttercream, and their flavor was so delicate and lovely that I fell in love that day. 

But the price! Oh, they were expensive. The good thing about wild violets, however, is that they grow like wildfire here in PA and I have zillions in my yard. I always promised myself I’d take the time to turn them into something wonderful someday, and that day has finally arrived.

How

A syrup struck my fancy, so a syrup it was. I had visions of a purple-hued sparkler, light lavender-colored tea or syrup-soaked shortbread fingers. Once afternoon last week, I wrapped the baby up on my back and set out to pick a jar full of these tiny, fragile flowers. Note to self: babywearing is fabulous, but maybe not while picking violets for an hour and a half. Ugh. 

If you try to find instructions on how to make violet syrup online, you’ll find a lot of differing methods. You’ll see differing amounts of flowers and sugar, and some will tell you to use lemon juice while others will tell you to steer clear as it will turn your syrup a magenta color. I started with an extremely simple method that I only intended to keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Here are the easy steps I followed:

Pick enough wild violets to fill one pint jar. Don’t include leaves or stems – you just want the flower itself. Be careful that you do not pick them from anywhere that has been sprayed with chemicals or pesticides.

Once picked, place all flowers in a quart jar.

How to turn wild violets into a delicately flavored natural syrup for drinks, desserts and candies

Boil 2 cups of water, then pour enough water over flowers to fill the jar. The water will immediately begin to change color and take on a pretty violet hue. Put a lid on the jar and let the flowers sit in the water for 24 hours.

How to turn wild violets into a delicately flavored natural syrup for drinks, desserts and candies

Fit a glass bowl over a pot of hot water to fashion a water bath (bain marie) OR use a non-reactive pot. Pour your violet water into the bowl through a fine strainer or cheesecloth to remove all traces of violets, then toss them into the compost. Now, add sugar to the water in the bowl. I’ve seen recipes calling for cups and cups of sugar at this point, but I used one heaping cup and it made a lovely sweet syrup that worked really well for us.

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 10.59.49 PM

I should mention that, for this recipe, we used Zulka Morena pure cane sugar, which is 100%, non-GMO Project Verified pure cane sugar.  Zulka Morena sugar is never refined, which helps preserve the fresh, real flavor and natural properties of the sugar cane plant, resulting in a better tasting and less processed sugar. I wouldn’t recommend using anything else (not honey, no sugar substitutes) for this recipe, as you want a really pure sweetness that won’t overpower or take away from the delicate flavor of the violets. We’ve been using our Zulka sugar for everything from apple pies to simple teas lately, and it really does taste like biting into fresh sugar cane! (They also have a picante sugar, among others. Doesn’t that sound fun!?)

Ok, back to the syrup…

Heat violet water in the water bath long enough to completely dissolve the sugar, bringing the mixture to a light boil for about 5 minutes. Then, pour your  syrup into clean jars (we run ours through the hot cycle in the dishwasher to sterilize) and refrigerate. From what I can find, this should last for several weeks in the fridge – if you can keep any that long!

Our batch yielded a little more than 2 pints of syrup.

How to turn wild violets into a delicately flavored natural syrup for drinks, desserts and candies

Note: Our syrup is a very bright color, but it’s blue, not purple. I’m not sure why this is, but we did use our own well water and we have a softener. Next time, I’m going to try using distilled water to see what happens. Rumor has it that a few drops of lemon juice might brighten it, so I think I’ll try that next time, too.

Though it does look kind of purple in the glass, don’t you think?

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How to turn wild violets into a delicately flavored natural syrup for drinks, desserts and candies.

Uses for Violet Syrup:

No matter the color, the taste is like no other – my 4-year-old son says it tastes like “flowers and butterflies.” But now that you’ve made it, what do you do with it?

  • Make a spritzer with 1/3 syrup and 2/3 plain seltzer. (My favorite!)
  • Add it to iced tea.
  • Drizzle it over vanilla ice cream
  • Spoon it over pancakes, waffles or crepes.
  • Pour over fresh fruit.
  • Freeze it into ice cubes and add to summer drinks (make sure to freeze some whole violets in the cubes, too! They’re SO pretty floating in a glass.)
  • Use it to glaze cookies or cakes.
  • Soak pound cake cubes in syrup and add to trifles.
  • Get creative and create a floral cocktail. (Just be aware that your color may fade! I added whipped vodka, and the color was GONE in minutes!)

How to turn wild violets into a delicately flavored natural syrup for drinks, desserts and candies.

Have you ever made violet syrup, or eaten them in any way? If so, please share your ideas. I want to use some more before they’re gone!

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. This sounds really good! I think I had something with violet in it before but I don’t remember for sure. Definitely interested in trying this though!
    Alyssa @ Arts & Crackers recently posted..DIY Pegboard Pantry OrganizerMy Profile

  2. I love the color!

  3. Woah, I have never even heard of violet syrup before. I am intrigued and would love to try it sometime.
    Robin (Masshole Mommy) recently posted..The Hollywood Walk of FameMy Profile

  4. Wow I never knew you could make syrup from flowers this is so awesome, beautiful color. What a fun project this would be!!
    Dria recently posted..DIY Kitchen cabinets less than $250My Profile

  5. Wow, what a great idea! Not sure I have ever seen these flowers here in Chicago but I am sure there are other flowers I could do this with, I’ll have to look into it!
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  6. That’s a great idea!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Diana Rodriguez – Entre Compras y El Hogar recently posted..Autismo.. Por qué es importante conocer los síntomas?My Profile

  7. Wow I can’t imagine drinking this, but it looks so good! Is it sweet?
    Allyson recently posted..The Perfect Kitchen Accessory- Rubbermaid Deluxe Kitchen DrainerMy Profile

    • The sweetness is depends on how much sugar you add, so you can make it not-so-sweet. But, since making the syrup takes a little time, I like to sweeten it up and steep it strong, then dilute with water so it goes further.

  8. This is something that I would love to try making. I love the pretty purple color and it sounds like it must taste heavenly too.
    Jennifer B recently posted..Four Must Have Summer Shoe Styles For Your ClosetMy Profile

  9. This is awesome. I want to try it!
    Lisa recently posted..I’m Not Cute!My Profile

  10. I knew violets were edible but I have never had any. I always thought they were just an edible garnishment.
    Jen V recently posted..Pocket Scrapbooking – April 2014My Profile

  11. This is a fantastic idea. Great way to enjoy the flavoe and smell.
    Debbie Denny recently posted..Bound for Branson… Again! You can go Too – Its a Branson Getaway Giveaway!My Profile

  12. lisa jones says:

    Wow Your Amazing Who Would Of THUNK Love It Thank You!

  13. I really didn’t know you could do this! It looks really tasty.
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  14. wow that is amazing, sounds really good. Can you use any violets for this?
    Mama to 5 BLessings recently posted..Buy & Sell Kid’s Clothing On Swap.comMy Profile

    • I know there are other edible flowers you can use like roses, etc but I don’t know if I’d recommend other violets. I’m pretty sure I specifically read NOT to use African violets.

  15. Okay, that has to be the coolest thing ever. How did you come up with this? I would never have thought of doing anything with those violets other than look at them and you created something that sounds delicious. How cool!

  16. I can think of a few things to do with that wild violet syrup, including mixing up a drink called a Wild Violet Gypsy. I love it – incredible!
    Elizabeth Towns recently posted..Today I Am a Dream ChaserMy Profile

  17. Maria Oller says:

    I’m so jealous I haven’t seen wild violets in Texas, I haven’t seen the syrup in a long long time my granny used to buy it often.

  18. I’ve never heard of it, but I so want to try it. It really sounds delightful!
    Liz Mays recently posted..LBL and the MaidMy Profile

  19. This is really cool! It makes such a pretty drink! Perfect for a wedding shower or garden party! Love it
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  20. I am so intrigued with this very beautiful diy/recipe! It looks so amazing and tasty!
    Amy Desrosiers recently posted..Patriotic Star Chocolate CupcakesMy Profile

  21. Oh My this sounds so tasty! Easy to make!

  22. What?! This is awesome! Thanks for showing all the different phases. Really helps especially when you’re wondering if it’s supposed to look like a certain something. :)

  23. Wow that is really cool. I have never heard of violet syrup before
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  24. This sounds amazing! I love the idea for the cocktail, perfect for a summer party! Definitely trying this out soon!
    Katie Harding recently posted..{WIN} A Custom Artwork Jewelry from KidzCanDesign.comMy Profile

  25. I’ve never heard of violet syrup! So fun and so pretty! I love that first photo!
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