Lilacs are in bloom here in my little corner of the world. The smell is positively intoxicating to me. I was out picking a bunch for my bedside table last night when a thought occurred to me that lilac blossoms are probably edible. The next thought in my mind was, if they are edible, what can I do with them???
The answer to my first question was, yes, lilacs are edible. At What's Cooking America they have what I believe is a complete list of edible flowers, which is where I found the answer to my first question. By the way, it is important to look up that sort of information and not just go running around eating random flowers just because they smell good or look purtty. Some flowers, even common ones, are poisonous, so it would be a wise thing to make sure that little blossom you are about to pop into your mouth won't make you sick or worse.
Then I started looking at recipes. Cooking with flowers has become more and more popular over the years. People have come up with all sorts of interesting recipes. At the blog JIm Long's Garden he gives a really wonderful looking recipe for lilac sorbet. I already have the base for that chilling in my refrigerator. I also found a recipe for lilac jelly on Michael Rulhman's blog-site. I will be making that the first thing I can this spring after I get the remaining ingredients this weekend. Then I found this website called Old Fashioned Living that has generic recipes that you can insert any edible flower or combination thereof into. They even suggest flower flavored honeys. And if there is enough time I might just have to try my hand at some lilac honey. I think that would make a lovely addition as a sweetener for my chamomile tea later this summer.
Well all that reading got my wheels turning and I thought to myself, self, you should make a lilac simple syrup. And I agreed with that thought. So I did.
Lilac Simple Syrup
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of fresh lilac blossoms
- Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir so that sugar is completely dissolved.
- Turn heat down and add the lilac blossoms. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain and store in a container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Lilac blossoms simmering and infusing themselves.
The completed lilac simple syrup. It has a slight green color to it.
So...what to do with this lilac infused simple syrup...Well, you could buy some sparkling water and make a nice homemade soda for the kiddos. You could also use it to make some lemonade, which would also be rather nice. I think I will try both of those ideas, but the first one I decided to make was a Lilac Martini.
- 3 oz. vodka
- 1 1/2-2 oz. lilac simple syrup
- Fill a martini shaker with ice.
- Pour vodka and lilac simple syrup into the martini shaker.
- Shake it like you mean it.
- Pour martini into glass and garnish with fresh lilac blossoms. Serve immediately