Wild Violet Syrup 28

I made my first batch of wild violet syrup last night. I had half expected it to taste like sugar water, but I was pleasantly surprised. It turned out to have a nice sweet floral taste and made a nice addition to my evening tea. I’ve always been familiar with wild violets, but never by that name. My grandma always called them fighting roosters, because kids used to compete by hooking the “crooks” behind the flower head together and pulling to see which head would pop off first. The person with a flower still attached would be the victor.

For this recipe you will need:

  • Wild violet blossoms
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice

I used white sugar in this recipe to achieve the ideal color, but I imagine you could use any type of sugar. Amounts will depend on the amount of violet blossoms you harvest.


Wild Violet (Viola odorata)

Making violet syrup is simple. The most time consuming part of the process is picking the flower heads. Stooping and picking, and in my case, stooping and picking with a camera dangling from your neck. How many violet blossoms you use is up to you. The recipe is a 1:1 ratio so you can use as many or as little as you wish.


Once you have picked your violets, place them in a jar or glass and add enough boiling water to cover the flowers.


Let the flowers steep for an hour or two (until the water cools). Your violet water will look blue or green at this point, the violet color comes later when the lemon is added. At this point strain the flowers from the infused water and discard. Be sure it’s clear of any debris. Add equal parts violet infused water and sugar to a saucepan. It’s going to look something like this:


Slowly add small amounts of lemon juice until desired color is reached. Now it looks like this:


Pretty cool huh? Chemistry!

Now slowly bring the sugar water to a low boil for a minute or two. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally. That’s it! You have violet syrup now! Taste it. Isn’t it good?! Who would have thought?!

Transfer your syrup to whatever container you wish. Just make sure it’s a clear glass container, because you are going to want to show this stuff off.



The finished product!


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28 thoughts on “Wild Violet Syrup

  • admin Post author

    Thank you! I’m steeping more violets right now for jelly. If I succeed I will post pictures. (If you never see a violet jelly post, you will know it was a failure!)

  • Nessie

    I just tried with violets. I was a little heavy-handed with the lemon, and now can’t really taste the violets. It tastes good still though, like lemon candy.

  • Amy

    Hello my fellow stateswoman!!! I am going to give your recipe a try. I tried a recipe from a book that had you make the sugar syrup beforehand,bring it to a simmer and then pour over the fresh flowers. I left it for a few hours and it was still clear as can be and I did not smell anything! I love the luscious color you have going on in your recipe, so I’m going to try again to make the violet syrup tonight using your recipe. Hopefully I will see some purple! Lol . Can you think of a reason why the other recipe might not have worked or was it because the recipe was trying to get a clear syrup instead?
    Thanks for all your help!!

    • admin Post author

      I’m not really sure. The sugar probably impedes the steeping process somehow, but I really don’t know the chemistry of it. Sorry your first batch didn’t turn out though! I know how much work it is to pick all those little flowers! I can assure you that you wont have any problems getting the color is you steep the flowers in the boiling water before adding the sugar. I’ve successfully made both syrup and jelly this way.

      • Amy

        Hey! I got it to work. Such a wonderful color. Does this need to be refrigerated or stored somewhere specific? Also, how long would you recommend keeping it? Thanks for all your help!

        • admin Post author

          It will keep much longer in the fridge. I have read varying opinions on how long it will keep. Some say one month, some say 6 months to a year. I’d say for best quality, use it within 6-8 weeks.

  • Pat

    I am working on a children’s book and would like to include this recipe. May I have your permission? I you have any questions please feel free to ask away in an email!

  • Denise

    These beautiful flowers grow wild in my Dads yard and garden.My sisters and I love them just as a nibble when we first spot them in the spring.What I was wondering is if the wild violet syrup could be made with organic “Fleur de Sel” fine grade coconut sugar? Also do you have any. tips on transplanting violets or whether they could be grown in a container?Thankyou 🙂

    • admin Post author

      I don’t really know all that much about making syrup with coconut sugar, but I’m almost certain it would not be a good option for violet syrup. The strong flavor and color of the sugar would overpower the violet which would basically negate the entire (somewhat labor intensive) process. It wouldn’t have the purple color, and I doubt you’d be able to taste the flowers at all. I’ve made it with organic, raw cane sugar and it turned out dark red.

      I’ve never transplanted them (because they grow in abundance in my yard), but it wouldn’t hurt to try. They only grow in heavy shade so be sure to plant them under trees or something that will give them constant shade in the summer. Also, keep in mind that they are rather invasive and will probably take over all the shady areas of your lawn if they flourish.

  • Heather W

    Brittany, I was using your recipe for violet syrup and left my violets soaking on the counter for 62 hours! I put the jar in the fridge as soon as I realized it. Do you think its still safe to make syrup with?