Whether you are looking for DIY gifts for mom or just want to preserve the essence of spring lilacs, this lilac syrup recipe makes a stunning addition to your cocktails, lemonade or baked goods.
I have a serious love affair with flowers. Unfortunately, my allergies did not get the memo on my infatuation and keeps many fragrant florals just out of reach. So goodbye jasmine, day lilies, and other perfumed beauties.
But there are many other gorgeous flower options out there for me to enjoy. I frequently shop at my local Trader Joe’s to pick up a bouquet or two of chamomiles, peonies, hydrangeas and this week: lilacs!
Lilacs are mildly fragrant, and most importantly, don’t aggravate my allergies! They come in a variety shades of pinks and purples, and of course the popular color of lilac. Some varieties only bloom for 3 weeks in the spring, while others bloom throughout the year.
Did you know that lilacs belong to the olive family, oleaceae? No wonder I love them! Lilac varieties can grow to be a large tree or in a bush.
Lilacs thrive in cold weather climates, so I’m dying here in Southern California as I am hunting for a warm weather loving lilac. So every time I find lilacs at Trader Joe’s, I have to scoop them up.
Are lilacs edible?
There are many varieties of flowers that are edible. My favorite edible flower is of course, the rose. But that’s probably because I’m Persian and we use rosewater and rose petals in many different ways.
Lilacs are definitely edible. Just be sure that the lilacs you are using are pesticide free. You can use lilacs in simple culinary ways like infusing sugar, alcohol and simple syrups. Lilacs aren’t just for lotions and soaps!
You can bake with lilacs and mix cocktails or sip some lilac lemonade. Garnish a lemon cake with lilacs, bake them into scones, or even add them in some whipped cream. The culinary uses for lilacs are limitless.
How to make lilac syrup
A fabulous way to use up May lilacs is to make a simple syrup. Simple syrups are a great way to sweeten a cocktail and are easy to mix up. The basic formula is equal parts water and sugar. To make lilac syrup, add equal part lilac blossoms.
When making this syrup you want just the blossoms, so remove any leaves or stems before infusing. You also want to gently rinse out the lilacs using a fine mesh strainer to remove any dirt and insects.
Simple whisk together the water and sugar and bring the mixture boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir in the lilac blossoms. Lilac syrup is actually a little on the brown side so to give it a beautiful lavender hue, you use food coloring (boo) or drop in 3-5 blueberries.
See my Lilac Syrup Web Story for a quick visual guide to making this recipe.
Storing your syrup
Once strained and cooled, your simple syrup can last for up to one month in the refrigerator. The sugar in the syrup will ward off any bacteria build up, making it a good candidate for canning.
If you are making large batches of lilac simple syrup, divide it into sterilized mason jars. Hot water canning is a very simple process and I have full instructions here on how to can using boiling water.
Free label printable
This gorgeous lilac simple syrup makes a wonderful DIY gift for mom or for anyone! I know I would love a bottle made by someone I cared about. DIY gifts are the best, in my opinion, because someone took the time to make something special by hand.
If you do make up this lilac syrup, I have a beautiful free printable label for you. Just punch a hole in the corner and use some pretty ribbon or purple bakers twine to tie it to your bottle.
‘Cause nothing says Mother’s Day better than a homemade bottle of lilac simple syrup. And some fresh lilacs, if you are lucky and can find them!
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Lilac Simple Syrup
Whether you are looking for DIY gifts for mom or just want to preserve the essence of spring lilacs, this lilac simple syrup recipe makes a stunning addition to your cocktails, lemonade or baked goods.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup lilac blossoms
- 4 blueberries (for color)
- Remove stems and leaves from lilac blossoms, otherwise they can make your syrup bitter. Gently rinse blossoms in a fine mesh strainer and reserve.
- Add water and sugar in a small pot, whisking together until sugar is dissolved.
- Bring to boil then add lilac blossoms and blueberries.
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove all the solids.
- Allow syrup to cool to room temperature than seal in a jar or bottle. Syrup will keep in the refrigerator like this for up to one month.
- You can also hot water can your lilac syrup and store in a pantry for up to one year. Click here to learn how to hot water can.
Serving Size:1 TBS
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 39Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 0g
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback.
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Lilac graphic from pngtree.com
Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?
In the fridge it can last for up to 6-months. If it turns cloudy beforehand, then it has gone bad.
This looks so good! What a great craft to make in the spring!
It’s a great way to add floral tones to your recipes.
I did this but it won’t thicken. It’s still like water and I followed instructions to a T. How can I fix this?
Simple syrup is always equal parts water and sugar. If it is not thickening up, simmer it longer and the water will evaporate and reduce then your syrup will form.
I substituted 1 cup of Monkfruit sweetener for the suagr. It turned out GREAT! Thank you for sharing this unique idea/recipe.
I love that you used an alternative sweetener! Thanks for sharing.
ooh, i can’t wait to try this! i live in northern new england, and right now, the lilacs are going crazy. my uncle has a lilac bush on his property that was there since he was a small child; it was so large that, even in the 1960s and 1970s, he and my mother were able to actually climb in it like a tree! i’ll have to pop up there later today and steal some blooms to make this syrup — i imagine it would be really tasty with gin in a cocktail.
I am so jealous of you! I wish lilacs grew well here in San Diego, but alas, it is too warm. Your uncle’s lilac bush-tree sounds like a dream. I hope you enjoy the syrup. Yes, it is delicious in cocktails!