I'm working on a lot of cocktails behind-the-scenes right now. They're mostly Sherlock-related because, well, this is coming up: While I've been concocting new recipes, the seasons have changed, and our garden is exploding with beautiful lilac flowers. I did a little research and learned that lilacs are edible (something I'm sad to admit I didn't know before) and that you can make awesome shit with them, such as lilac syrup. I didn't have my bad ass sister, Andrea, here to take photos this time, so this recipe is a little image-scant. However, this is the sorta thing anyone who can pick flowers and simmer water can do. I promise.
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups white sugar
- A shit-ton of lilac florets, carefully removed from their stems (as much as possible without removing the base of the flower). How much is a shit-ton, you ask? I didn't actually measure, but I would imagine I was using anywhere between 6-8 cups of lilac flowers. Give the stems a few good shakes and inspect them for bugs before pulling the flowers off for the syrup.
1. Combine sugar and water. Cook over medium-low heat until sugar is completely dissolved, and the mixture is justabout to come to a boil. 2. Pour hot simple syrup over lilac florets. Stir. 3. Cover with plastic wrap or other lid and let sit overnight, stirring occasionally before you go to bed. 4. Strain. I used a mesh strainer with no problems. If you don't want any plant sediment, line a strainer with cheesecloth first. 5. Store in clean bottles/jars in the refrigerator.
Those soggy lilac florets? Make sure you drain every last drop of the syrup you can into those jars o' magic.
Then: You can spread them out on a wax or parchment paper lined sheet pan and allow to dry overnight. Toss with a little extra sugar and, voila! Candied lilacs. I used brown sugar because I forgot I used all of my white sugar for my syrup! The brown works nicely, though: