Spring by Kathryn White

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sweet Violets (Viola odorata) and Syrup

The sweet, unmistakable scent of the violet has been used during the Victorian time period for fragrant perfumes and cosmetics. The French are known for their violet syrup, most commonly made from an extract of violets.

It's a wonderful discovery when the sweet, fragrant violets are blooming here again:

They grow in profusion at the back of our property near a wooded area:

When my daughter was younger, we gathered the violet flowers in a basket then took them inside to make the most wonderful violet syrup:

We removed any trace of stem, and placed the flowers in a clean jar, then added boiling water just to cover the flowers, setting the jar in the window for 24 hours or overnight, then cooked down, adding 2 cups of sugar and a squeeze of lemon before pouring into jars:

You can also follow these directions:
Sweet Violet Syrup

4 cups stemmed violets
2 cups water
About 2 cups sugar

Combine the flowers and water in a saucepan. Simmer the contents, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Strain the mixture through a dampened jelly bag. You can squeeze the bag, when it’s cool enough to handle, to extract more liquid. Then measure the volume of the liquid, and combine it in a preserving pan with an equal volume of sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Raise the heat to high, and bring the syrup to a full boil.
Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the syrup into a sterilized bottle or jar

We created a label which we attached to the jar with ribbon and lace for a nostalgic and old-fashioned look.
Makes an adorable gift for a tea gathering: