Violets are in full bloom throughout the garden so I made some sweet violet syrup. A spoonful in a cup of herbal or darjeeling tea is delicious. A splash in a glass of iced water adds a tinge of color, subtle flavor and a bit of sweetness. It can be added to fruit salads, lemonade, iced tea or cocktails.
I picked violets without the stems and washed them in cold water. Then I loosely packed the flowers into a clean glass jar and covered them with boiling water. Eight hours later, I strained the infused water and measured it . There was 3 cups. I put the violets, infused water and 3 cups of sugar (same measurement as the infused water) into a non reactive pan and stirred it over low heat until all the sugar was dissolved. I added the juice of 1 lemon. (Lemon is optional. I like the taste better with the lemon but it does change the color of the syrup, giving it a pinkish hue instead of purple.) I strained the violets out with a fine mesh strainer and poured the syrup into a sterilized glass jar. Once it cooled down, it went into the fridge where it will be stored.
I should probably mention that violets that may have been exposed to pesticides, lawn fertilizers or sprays should never be used. Also, I took some shortcuts from traditional methods. I infused the violets for 8 hours and most recipes recommend letting them sit for 24 hours. I used organic cane sugar which isn’t pure white and I didn’t remove the green parts at the bases of the flowers, probably compromising the color of the syrup. Here’s a link for a recipe without the shortcuts and with some more good ideas on how to use the syrup.