Friday, April 18, 2014

Wild Violet Syrup

Nothing ventured nothing gained; I decided to try making wild violet syrup. I gathered two pints of flowers. a rocky slope isn't easy to gather the flowers. The flowers I gathered are wild violets, Viola triloba, growing as a native in Northwest Georgia on a dry rocky slope. Here is another link with some good close up photos of this variety of violet.

I didn't gather all the flowers growing on any one plant and I did not take all the flowers at that location. Some insects may be relying on these wild violets as their food source. Although as I was gathering at approximately 4 pm, at about 66 F, I did not see any bees or other insects on the flowers.

When I returned home I placed my flowers in the top of a porcelain coated double boiler. This type of container is best to use as it is non reactive to certain chemicals and ingredients. Stainless steel would work but this container or glass would be better.

I poured two cups of boiling water over the flowers. I detected a faint but fresh fragrance coming from the flowers soaking in the water.

I covered the violet water mixture and let it sit over night.

This morning I strained the violets from the water and discarded the flowers. I strained the mixture twice. I could have used cheesecloth as well but the water looked clear and free of debris.

Here's the violet water after straining, a faint lavender color. At this point I am thinking I should have picked more flowers but I didn't want to take all the flowers and it was too late at this point to add more.

I added two cups of fine white sugar per cup of liquid. I put water in the bottom of the double boiler and cooked the liquid till almost boiling, stirring constantly. This takes quite some time and my wrist was getting tired of the stirring. But this step is important to get the sugar dissolved in the water. At the end I skimmed all the white scum off of the top. The mixture began to turn a greenish violet color. I was getting worried but I set the pot aside to cool off.

After the mixture cooled down for about five minutes I put it back on the heat over the double boiler filled with boiling water and heated the violet sugar water till almost boiling again.

I added an 1/8 teaspoon of lemon juice at a time very slowly till the mixture turned back to a violet color. A bit more pale violet than I would like but I've come this far so no turning back.

I sterilized my half pint canning jars and lids. In this small town unfortunately I couldn't find any nicely shaped decorative jars to put the mixture into.

 Here are my four jars filled with wild violet syrup. They are a very pale color.

Next time I will gather twice as many wild violets. I will also remove the green calyxes from the bottom of the petals. I think that will improve the color of the wild violet syrup. Making the syrup is a lot of work but hopefully the flavor will be worth all the work. I just dipped my finger into the cooled mixture left in the pan and it tastes delicious and has a delicate fragrance. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. I have to ask... what will you use it for? I have never heard of violet syrup.

  2. I'm so glad you made some and I love those little jars. They have such a country look to them. I'm going to make a wild rice oven pancake for my dinner and that syrup would sure taste good on it ... :)

  3. You are so dedicated to this idea...I can't wait to hear how you serve your wild violet syrup. In my neck of the woods, violets like moist shady perhaps they are a different variety. Enjoy!

  4. Yum. Lots of work, but it looks like a success story.

  5. I do believe it will be yummy.

  6. Hi Michele, thanks, the violet syrup can be used to make violet icing for cakes, use over pancakes or waffles, use to sweeten tea, use to sweeten lemonade, use to make home made violet ice cream, it is very sweet so only a little is needed.

    Hi Teresa, thanks, wish you were around the corner I'd bring a jar over to you.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, I was beginning to wonder why I was so dedicated but since I posted about it I thought I'd better follow through, nothing like my own blog being my motivator. Ha. I think there are lots of varieties of violets. The ones I saw in Maryland grew in the shade as well.

    Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, I think it all worked out in the end.

    Hi Joanne, thanks, I think it will be tasty if only because of all the work it took me. Ha.

  7. Is it like Caro Syrup? I never leave your blog with out learning something new. Have a blessed Easter...your first Easter in your new home. Hugs from Dee

  8. Is it like Caro Syrup? I never leave your blog with out learning something new. Have a blessed Easter...your first Easter in your new home. Hugs from Dee

  9. Hi Dee, thanks, it's not as thick I think, it's like a pancake syrup fairly sweet but a light taste, happy easter to you.

  10. Hi Lynn, thanks, I have yet to try it on some food just the finger taste.


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