It’s the time of the year when violets start popping up. Normally disregarded as a common weed, these vibrant purple flowers are pretty incredible. Their scent is unmistakable and while it may divide people’s tastes, I’m a huge fan. Last April I discovered the abundance of violets in our garden, and set out picking in order to make something extra special; violet syrup! I researched a few recipes and found advice from Apothecary’s garden and Use Real Butter to be really useful. I’ve made my own version below.
Magical Violet Syrup
You will need
- About 5dl of fresh violets
- 2 dl of water
- ca 3 dl sugar
Note: When you pick the violets, make sure you are picking clean flowers (i.e. no exposure to pesticides, not near busy roads etc.) I always smell the flowers to make sure I have the right flower. If the flower looked different in colour or had no smell I discarded it. To sterilise containers you can boil them before use.
Remove all the stems and leaves, leaving only the purple petals behind (Most photos are from my first attempt where I left the stems and trust me it does make a difference in the taste to remove them)
Place the petals in a sterile glass jar or bowl
Boil the water and pour it over the violets, popping on a lid or cling film on straight away to create a strong seal
Take in the glorious view and leave to steep for 24 hours at room temperature
The liquid should now have turned a strong bluish purple hue. You pour the liquid through a clean cloth (nylon/muslin) and squeeze out the excess, discarding the petals
Pour up the liquid in a clean container and measure out an equal amount of sugar
Combine sugar and liquid in a clean pot/bowl and slowly heat over a waterbath to dissolve the sugar
Turn down the heat and skim off any impurities from the top
Optional: For extra fun, add a couple drops of lemon juice and watch the blue hue turn bright purple, but be careful. Too many drops will cause it to lose it’s violet colour.
The liquid is highly reactive to pH-levels as violets contains anthocyanins, a type of colour pigment. If you add lemon juice, an acid, these pigments react by turning bright magenta while adding something basic (like baking soda) will turn them blue. Science bitch!
I froze some extra petals in to use as food decoration, and to add a nice touch to violet themed cocktails.
Add some frozen petals, a swirl of violet syrup to some yoghurt and blueberries for a fancy breakfast!