A few weeks ago, I took an herbal tips and tricks workshop through Just Food. A small group of us learned a great many things about the edible and medicinal uses for a number of “weeds”, that most of us can find in our backyards. Dandelions were of course covered, how could they not be? But one plant that was not covered is the humble and fragrant lilac. I suppose they would have made the agenda if there had been a lilac bush on our walkabout, but the class was only 2 hours long, we had a lot of ground to cover, and lilacs aren’t nearly as fascinating or beneficial as other plants. In case you didn't know, or have yet gathered from this post, the flowers of a lilac are edible. But their blooms are fleeting, so you better get out there and snap some up if you want to make this special springtime cocktail syrup.
Lilac Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup lilac flowers, stems and green parts removed
5-8 blueberries, for color
I started my lilac obsession this afternoon, by making some lilac simple syrup. I wasn’t quite sure how I would use this, but I definitely knew a cocktail was in order! Like other simple syrups, combine the water and sugar over medium heat on the stove. Heat until dissolved. Add the lilac flowers and simmer for 10 minutes. If you want a brightly hued syrup like mine, add about five blueberries. The color will pop and add a great dimension to your cocktails. Remove from heat, drain through a chinois or sieve, bottle, and store in the refrigerator.