How To Make Wild Violet Simple Syrup
We waited later than usual to mow our yard for the first time…
and I’m SO glad we did…
because I had no idea one section of our yard was almost covered in wild violets!
Wild violets (not to be confused with African violets) are the tiniest, most delicate, light purple flowers — and they’re edible!
Packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C, wild violets can be found in cooler spring climates, like ours in northern Minnesota. They are an adorable addition to salads, can serve as a garnish on desserts, and make a beautiful, purple, wild violet simple syrup that can be added to cocktails or poured over pancakes!
Since we never, ever spray our yard with any chemicals, our wild violets are 100% organic and pesticide-free. Perfect foraging fodder — and I never knew it because we’ve always mowed our yard as soon as the dandelions start growing. (Not anymore though — we want our dandelions!)
Making wild violet simple syrup is super easy. It takes a full 24 hours, but 99% of that time is for steeping the flowers. The little bit of hands-on time is as simple as making an herbal tea!
Wild Violet Simple Syrup
Here’s what you need:
- 4 cups of wild violets
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 cups organic evaporated cane juice
- 3 to 4 drops of lemon juice
Here’s how to do it:
#1 — Collect wild violets.
You really only need the flower petals. We did have a few stray stems and receptacles (base of the flower), and it did not affect the flavor of the finished syrup at all, however. This is a half-gallon Mason jar. Filled half-way, it was 4 cups of wild violets.
#2 — Pour boiling water over the wild violets.
The ratio of flowers to water is 2:1. Because I had 4 cups of wild violets, I used 2 cups of boiling water. See how the water immediately begins to change color!
#3 — Use a wooden spoon to smash the violets down into the water.
The petals will shrink considerably, so make sure they’re all submerged.
#4 — Steep the violets for 24 hours.
Place a lid on your jar and let the violets sit and steep for 24 hours. As you can see in the 4. photo, the pigment begins to come out of the petals rather quickly. Don’t be tempted to skip the full 24-hour steeping time, though. The longer the petals steep, the more purple pigment is drawn out, and the more depth of color your finished wild violet syrup will have.
#5 — Strain.
After 24 hours, pour the violet “tea” into a fine-mesh strainer. You should still have 2 cups of liquid.
#6 — Press out all the “tea”.
Using your fingers, press all of the blueish-purple “tea” out of the petals. Then you can add the petals to your compost.
#7 — Notice how blue the wild violet “tea” is.
It’s almost a cerulean blue — not very purple at all actually. That’s ok. We’ll fix that with lemon juice.
#8 — Combine the wild violet “tea” with 2 cups of organic evaporated cane juice.
Place it on the stove on low-medium heat. Whisk the sugar and “tea” together while the mixture heats. DO NOT BOIL!
If purple syrup is what you want, it is crucial that you keep an eye on your syrup and don’t allow it to boil. Boiling the liquid destroys the beautiful color. The sugar will dissolve in the warm liquid without boiling.
#9 — Add 3 to 4 drops of lemon juice.
As soon as the sugar is completely dissolved, remove the syrup from the heat and add 3 or 4 drops of lemon juice to it. This causes a chemical reaction that makes the color of the liquid go from blue to a bright purple.
The more lemon juice you add, the lighter the color of the wild violet simple syrup.
Using a funnel, pour the finished wild violet syrup into a bottle or jar (I use swing-top bottles because they have the character I want, but a glass jar will also work just fine.)
#10 — Store in the fridge.
You can store your wild violet simple syrup in the fridge for 2 weeks — if it lasts that long! Pour it over waffles or pancakes, add it to sparkling water for a bubbly floral beverage, flavor your kombucha with it, or add it to a cocktail!
I have created a cocktail recipe using this wild violet simple syrup that is to. die. for. Here’s the recipe for The Ultraviolet… my super special wild violet cocktail!