For all of these recipes, prepare the fresh violet flowers by removing the green and white base part of each flower. It’s the blue-purple part that gives the syrup its distinctive color and flavor.
Traditional “Syrup of Violets”
This traditional recipe is based on a preparation given in Grieve’s “A Modern Herbal” that dates back farther than the book.
Equal parts by volume:
- Violet petals loosely packed
- Distilled water*
- White sugar**
* Distilled water is recommended for its neutral pH. The pigment in violets is pH reactive, variation in your tap water may affect the color.
** You can use alternative sweeteners such as honey, agave, or raw sugar but they may affect the color and flavor of the syrup.
- Boil the water
- Place the flower petals in a jar or similar container that can be covered
- Pour the boiling water into the jar covering the petals.
- Let the petals sit for 24 hours and cool to room temperature.
- The water will become a striking purple color
- Combine the petals, water, and sugar in a double boiler or pot on low heat.
- Cook the mixture for two hours, not letting it get above a light simmer.
- Strain the mixture to remove the petals.
This will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for six months.
Alternative Violet Syrups
There are a bunch of ways you can make sweet violet preparations without processed sugar. Some of them may mask the subtle flavor or intense color but it’s worth experimenting with. You can use the traditional recipe above with a different sweetener, or you can try one of these variations.
Violet Infused Honey
Put violet petals and honey into a jar. As a make-shift double boiler, place the jar in a saucepan with an inch of water in the bottom. Heat for about 30 minutes then cover the jar and allow it to infuse for 24 hours or longer, up to a month. You can leave the petals in or reheat the honey and strain.
Put violet petals and vegetable glycerite into a jar. Keep it in a cool place and shake it every day for 30 days. Strain the glycerite to remove petals and store it in a sealed container.