How to make wild violet simple syrup
We went right from snow to warm spring in a blink of an eye, so the grass and plants are popping fast. While looking out my kitchen window, I saw a lot of wild violets that grew before we had a chance to bring out the lawn mower, so I quickly went out and picked each and every one of them (for a couple of days mind you as they kept sprouting).
Recipe for Violet Simple Syrup
Equal Parts Water & Sugar
In a sauce pan, add your flower petals to the water and bring to a boil - strain and press the violet tea juice into a heat-proof container - in the sauce pan you just used, add your sugar and pour back in the violet tea juice (it will be blue not purple) - heat until dissolved (do not boil your sugar mixture!) - depending on the amount of simple syrup you made, add a drop or few of lemon juice to change the cerulean blue simple syrup to purple.
To be brutally honest, for two years I tried making wild violet simple syrup without much success when it came to seeing color in the sugary liquid. The taste was there, but not the color. Why? Well I figured I knew what I was doing and did not research what I really needed to do.
The first year, we, my daughter and I, made the simple syrup with equal parts water with equal parts sugar with the flowers added into the pot. No color. The next year I did the same, but then figured I needed to let the flower color infuse into the simple syrup, so I let it sit in the mason jar. for a few days to see what would happen. All I had was shriveled up violets floating in clear simple syrup.
I finally waved the white flag and looked on online to what I was doing wrong (don't ask me why I didn't do that in the first place... I have no idea). The secret was boiling the water with the violet petals FIRST before adding the mixture to the sugar. DUH!
I finally had color! The only problem was, the color was a gorgeous cerulean blue, not violet purple. The next trick I found online was that you had to add just a couple drops of lemon juice. Note that I am mentioning just a couple of drops; add just a few at a time, because once it turns purple, with each drop it will get lighter and lighter to the point it could become almost clear (yes, I found that out the hard way too).
On a side note, I only had about 30 flowers to use and it made a beautiful color - The next time, if I only have that many flowers, I will create a mixture of 2 cups sugar with 2 cups water. I did four cups each so that I would have enough syrup to experiment with for the flavor.