Violets are one of spring’s first flowers. In our household, it is a spring tradition to make simple syrup with fresh violet flowers. We love to use the syrup in lemonade. In this article, learn how to make violet lemonade from scratch!
The Common Blue Violet
Here in Kentucky (and the same in my home state of NC), the common blue violet is one of the hallmarks of spring. And they always make me think of my favorite book series, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. There is something about their little purple faces popping up in nooks and crannies that makes my heart skip a beat. Many people approach them as weeds (I do not!). But like many weeds, they have their virtues. This article by The Herbal Academy highlights some of the medicinal and emotional benefits of violets.
“If a kiss could be seen I think it would look like a violet”L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea
I was introduced to the notion of making violet simple syrup (and violet lemonade) a few years ago. This article by the Apothecary’s Garden taught me how to make a violet flower simple syrup. Now every year I putter through my yard gathering violets. And I marvel at the changing color of the syrup from blue to purple after adding lemon juice. I hope my children will have lovely memories of drinking purple lemonade with violets under the spring sun.
How to Make Violet Simple Syrup for Violet Lemonade
Gather two cups of violet flowers. Rinse them off in a bowl of fresh water then place them in a large mason jar. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and pour over the violets. Stir, cover and let sit for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, strain the flowers out of the infusion. Mix one cup of the infusion and one cup of raw sugar together in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Now you have a violet flower simple syrup!
How to Make Violet Lemonade From Scratch
Now let’s make lemonade! Mix one cup of violet simple syrup with one cup of lemon juice in a pitcher. Watch how the color of the mixture changes from blue to purple! Add four cups of water and stir. Enjoy with ice cubes!
Tips for Gathering Violets
Before you gather anything, do your research! Triple check that you are able to correctly identify a wild violet. Speaking from experience, it is not a good feeling to forage and eat a plant that you have incorrectly identified.
Next, find an unsprayed, off the road area to gather violets. Luckily violets do grow like a weed so they can be easy to find in sunny spots.
Once you have found the right spot, pick violet flowers that are open and look fresh. Simply break off the flower head, leaving the stem behind. I also recommend not over-picking in one area. Spread your foraging out and make sure to leave enough for the bees!
Tools You Will Need to Make Violet Lemonade
- Tea kettle
- Large mason jar
- Strainer and bowl
- Measuring cups
- Wooden spoon
“Do you know, I found a cluster of white violets under that old twisted tree over there today? I felt as if I had discovered a gold mine.”L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island
Learn More about Violets
- 2 cups fresh violet flowers
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 1 cup fresh or bottled lemon juice
- 4 cups water
- Day One: Gather 2 cups fresh violet flowers. Rinse gently in a bowl of water. Strain flowers and place into a large mason jar. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Pour over the flowers and stir. Allow infusion to sit for 24 hours.
- Day Two: Strain flowers from infusion. Compost the flowers. Mix one cup of the infusion with one cup raw sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Now you have your violet simple syrup.
- Combine the violet simple syrup and lemon juice in a pitcher. Add four cups water and stir. Add violet flowers for a special touch. Enjoy!
- Always triple check that you have identified a wild plant correctly before foraging
- Do not pick flowers in an area that has been sprayed or is right next to the road
- Just pluck the flower head and leave the stem behind
If you try this recipe and enjoy it, I would love if you could come back and give it 5 stars! Tag me on Instagram @orchardhouseblog