While we wait for spring to arrive and hope it does before we get full-on summer, I have been feeling more and more impatient to get outdoors and collect some wild spring edibles. With bitter cold temperatures, snow and ice keeping me mostly indoors, I have been grateful to have saved some of last year’s bounty either dried, frozen or canned. So in anticipation of what I hope to be a great spring for lilacs, I decided to use some of my remaining lilac syrup to make a truly floral cocktail.
Some of you may not have such a syrup in your pantry just now, but as I post this well before the lilacs are in bloom, when they do arrive those of you who live in lilac country will have the wherewithal to prepare enough of this treat to last you all year long. For flavouring ice cream, chantilly, meringues, icings and drinks it is definitely a flavour you don’t want to run out of.
To make the syrup I followed the recipe from this post, one of my favourite wild food blogs, which also has some appetizing lilac recipes to choose from.
For one serving I mixed in an 8 oz. glass: 1 oz. gin, 1 oz. simple lilac syrup, 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, then filled the glass with soda water and ice.
It was a lovely way to celebrate the first warm rays of the sun we have felt in a long time, and a great reminder to harvest the flowers when they finally do appear.
I used a mixture of sugar and wild grape juice as a final touch. And of course, if you prefer it not to be hard, omit the gin. It’s still delicious.