The lilac syrup turned out so wonderful that I am tempted to start another batch before the bloom is over. Mixed with seltzer, it makes a refreshing homemade soda.
Lilac has been used for centuries to treat various ailments, from fever to intestinal problems to gout. Of course you can just drink it for pure pleasure. Cheers!
Colored lilac works best. Boiling the syrup after steeping is not required but it keeps longer that way. The syrup will change its color from a gorgeous pink or purple depending on the color of the lilac, to a faint salmon color.
4 cups loosely packed lilac blossoms
1 organic lemon
3¾ cups (750 g) sugar
4 cups (1 l) water
1 tablespoon citric acid
1. Remove all green stems from the lilac blossoms. Wash blossoms in cold water and drain. Place in a large glass or plastic container (no metal, it will react with the acid) with a lid.
2. Scrub the lemon under cold water. Slice and add to the lilac.
3. Mix the sugar with 1 quart water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. When lukewarm, stir in the citric acid. Cool completely.
4. Pour the sugar solution over the lilac and push the blossoms down so there are fully immersed. Cover and let sit at moderate room temperature away from the sunlight for 5 days, stirring daily.
6. Strain through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth. Press down to extract as much of the liquid as possible but to not crush the blossoms, or the syrup will get cloudy.
7. Pour in a saucepan and bring to a quick boil. Remove from the heat and cool completely before filling into sterilized bottles. Refrigerate and use within a month.
Makes 6 cups