Violet Flower Syrup

Violet syrup
olgadrach/RooM/Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Infuse: 24 hrs
Total: 24 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
49 Calories
0g Fat
13g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 49
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 5mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Violet flowers from the Viola genus are a gorgeous part of the annual display of spring blossoms. Commonly found all over the Northern Hemisphere and in the South American Andes and Hawaii, violets are edible plants that can beautifully adorn salads and cakes. They also make delicious and pretty teas and syrups. Extensively used in European cooking, particularly in French cuisine, violets aren't that common in food in the United States. However, with the wide availability of these flowers, it'd be a shame not to try our easy recipe, which can transform many recipes into beautifully colored violet creations. Think of buttercream frosting, beverages, macarons, or cake batters with a hint of violet color and a fruity berry taste.

If you're lucky and have wild violets growing in your backyard, this recipe will help you preserve them for year-round enjoyment. The jewel-like color and subtle flavor of this syrup are wonderful in cocktails, mocktails, lemonades, or simply added to club soda. Before you start, research if the purple flowers in your garden are indeed violets and be sure that they haven't been sprayed with chemicals and harmful pesticides or fertilizers. Also, be aware that the roots in some species may cause nausea and vomiting, so only petals—without stems or leaves—should be used.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup violet flowers, lightly packed

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup white granulated sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pinch violets off at the top of the stems. Remove calyxes, or the green parts at the base of the flowers, by twisting petals free. Save petals and compost, or discard calyxes.

  3. Place violet petals into a nonplastic, heatproof, nonreactive container, such as a glass canning jar or a stainless-steel bowl. Reserve.

  4. In a small saucepan, bring cup of water to a boil.

  5. Pour hot water over violet petals. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. The liquid will turn a gorgeous clear blue with a slight lavender hue.

  6. Pour liquid and petals into the top of a bain-marie. Or, if you don't have one, put an inch or two of water in a pot over medium-high heat and set a large stainless steel or other heatproof bowl on top of the pot. Place violets and their infusion liquid in it.

  7. Add sugar and cook syrup over steam created by the bain-marie. Stir often, until sugar is completely dissolved.

  8. Strain syrup through a finely meshed sieve to remove flower petals.

  9. Let syrup cool to room temperature. Transfer to glass jars, label them, and store in refrigerator for up to six months.

For Best Results

  • The violet extraction is pH sensitive. If your water is "hard" (alkaline), add lemon juice to the violet-water infusion to maintain the blue color, although you'll lose the subtle flavor of the violets. A better option is to use distilled water if you're not sure how hard your water is.
  • Always use white sugar for this recipe to avoid losing the exquisite color.

How to Use Violet Syrup

Anything you think would benefit from a touch of pretty violet can be colored with our syrup. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use your ice cream machine to make violet ice cream by adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of violet syrup to your favorite vanilla ice cream recipe. Alternatively, turn your violet blossom syrup into sorbet, or if you don't have an ice cream machine, make granita instead.
  • Use the syrup to color cupcake and cake batters by replacing some of the liquid with the same amount of syrup.
  • Create cocktails to show off the syrup's beautiful color. Use a clear liquor such as vodka or gin, and try adding sparkling water such as seltzer or club soda. If you'll be sipping your violet blossom cocktail while the violet plants are still in bloom, you can get fancy and add floral ice cubes to the drink.
  • Color frosting for cakes with a few teaspoons of syrup.
  • Drizzle the syrup over fruit salad or any fresh fruit.