When life gives you violets

In Family Bonding, Food and Drink, Seasons
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These are strange days, friends. How are you managing?

Me? I’m cooking – even more than usual and I do a lot of cooking. And I’m doing so much more laundry. Gardening has been my therapy, my exercise, and my silent prayer. Thank goodness for the turn of season, I think to myself each time I get out of the house for a bit of fresh air and sunshine.

It’s springing here, and I’m trying wherever I can to hold onto the rhythm of our annual rituals in the midst of all of the tumult. Social distancing meant  I wasn’t able to see the cherry blossoms this year, but it didn’t keep me away from the violets in the yard.

Violets bloom when they do. You pick them, or you miss them till next year. You can’t rush the syrup-making either. A 24 hour soak is required before you can strain them and make simple syrup. Since they are still soaking as I write, I can’t close this post with a photo of a pretty drink and a toast to your health and fortitude, friends.

It’s coming, I assure you, It’s just going to require a little more time, which, right now, I have.

Whatever you do with this time, I’d encourage you all to keep your eyes wide open and document these very different days.

Stay well,

edit: since someone asked on IG, I thought I’d post our recipe here for anyone else who happens to have violets and a bit of time this spring.

Gather at least one cup of violet blossoms. Discard stems and rinse.

Boil equal measure of water – 1cup water for 1cup violets.

Pour boiling water on blossoms, stir to submerge flowers, cover and leave to steep for 24hrs.

Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer, pressing all of the liquid out of the blooms. Discard blooms.

Prepare a bain-marie, keep it below a simmer. Pour as much sugar as your favorite simple syrup recipe requires (the range I’ve seen is anywhere from 1-2 parts sugar to 1 part liquid). Stir the sugar into the violet water until it dissolves, being careful not to let the mixture get too hot.

Let the mixture cool and bottle it. The resulting syrup will be rather deep purple/blue, if you’d like to shift color to a little redder purple you may add a few drops of lemon juice. I usually do.

The syrup will keep in the fridge for 6 months. Use it in lemonade, cocktails, or even in a glaze for baked goods. Cheers!


  1. Debbie, One of my favorite coffee shops makes a spring special latte with violet syrup! What a wonderful project for comfort!

  2. One of the things Madrid is famous for is their violet candies! Yum!

  3. I wish we had violets around here! I rarely see them but they’re so sweet and lovely. I love the idea of using this syrup in lemonade!

  4. No violets in my new yard yet, I had tons at our old house. This has encouraged me to plant some. Thanks so much for the recipe.

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