The violets are here and it's time to gather them! Well, it's probably a little late for those south of me, but those to the north probably have good patches blooming right about now. I love the taste of violets. I love those violet mints that people always say taste like soap. My favorite drink is violet liqueur with lime and tonic water. So really I had to figure out how to make violet syrup.
So I took my dog to an abandoned lot where we foraged and romped. We were careful not to take too many violets from field because there are other critters that subsist on their nectar. The spring blooms of the violet don't usually produce seeds. They mainly propagate through fall blooms and runners.
We went back home and removed the stem and green under part of the flower by pinching and pulling. I also washed the flowers because who knows what or who likes to pee in that lot.
Here's how to do it:
I got 3/4 cup of flowers, so I added 3/4 cup of hot water. Use equal amounts of water and flowers, no matter how many you get. Also, be careful not to scald the flowers. It will ruin the color of the final product. I boiled the water and then let it cool for about a minute.
Then I let the flowers sit in the water for about 24 hours, shaking or stirring occasionally.
The flowers should be sitting in a lovely violet colored water now. Heat this water gently on the stove. Add the same amount of sugar as you added water. You can add more if you want it sweeter or if you want the syrup to last longer. Dissolve the sugar in the hot water.
Pour the liquid through some cheese cloth or a tight strainer, making sure none of the petals get through. Put it in a jar and put the syrup in the fridge for future use.
Isn't the color the best? It really is that color, too. No photoshop tricks. It looks almost black in the shade.
If you add lemon juice it can turn a fuchsia color. I haven't tried it yet, though.