With it’s sweet scent and pastel blooms and heart-shaped leaves, the lilac flower is a beautiful welcome to spring. I can’t possibly pick a favorite spring bloom, because well I love them all, but I wouldn’t be telling the whole truth either if I didn’t say that the lilac flower is one of my favorites. Every year our neighbor’s lilac bushes, that look more like a few small trees, blooms and reaches it’s long branches into our yard for us to enjoy. And every year, I watch them bloom and patiently wait to trim a branch, or two, to sprinkle about our home.
This year I decided however to harvest a few extra blooms to make into lilac sugar for gifts which then led to making syrup. Which then led to making mojitos. All I can say is the gorgeous weather made me do it. If you’re looking for a refreshing cocktail with a hint of floral, you may want to give this a try! And if you want to skip on the alcohol, no problem. A virgin tastes just as good!
Total Time : 20 minutes
LILAC SUGAR :
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lilac pedals
(can also add vanilla bean seeds for little extra flavor)
LILAC SYRUP :
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup fresh lilac flowers
lemon or lime slices (I used lime)
sparkling water (I used soda water)
LILAC SUGAR :
There are a couple different ways to make lilac sugar. You can simply take your 2/3 cup sugar or 1 full cup and add 1/2 cup clean lilac flower. Put in a sealed jar and let sit for a few weeks, shaking every so often. Or you can combine the ingredients into a food processor. If you combine in a food processor the sugar may be damp to touch because of the flower. Simply remove sugar and let dry for a few minutes on a cookie sheet. Once dry put in a sealable jar. You can use the sugar for baking, cocktails, tea, or even sprinkle over oatmeal. It also makes a wonderful gift!
LILAC SYRUP :
Combine water and honey in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil. Let simmer for a minute or two, then remove from heat. Add the clean fresh lilacs, cover and steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain the syrup and discard the lilacs. All the syrup to cool before storing in the fridge.
LILAC MOJITO :
Simply take a tall glass and add 1 1/2 tablespoon lilac syrup, tablespoon lilac sugar, one mint leaf and fresh squeeze of lemon or lime. Use a muddler or wooden spoon and push down mixing the ingredients together. Fill half the glass with ice and then add your rum, stir again to combine the flavors together. Fill your glass up with ice and then add your sparkling water. Top it off with a little garnish of mint and lilac and a fresh squeeze of lemon or lime. Enjoy!
* this can easily be made into a non-alcohol beverage by removing the rum. I may suggest adding a hint more syrup to really bring out the flavor.
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