Lilac Syrup

Let’s eat the flowers!


Lilac season is glorious, though fleeting. I look forward to these voluptuous May blossoms with great anticipation each year. With lots of old-fashioned lilacs on my property, I know I will fill my vases every day, and the scent will fill my lungs with spring. After a long winter and cold, wet spring, this magnificence renews the spirit.

Smells good enough to eat

I remember some years ago I had picked a large bouquet and buried my face in the blossoms. They smelled so wonderful, I took a big bite of them. They were disappointing, bitter, but I did break off some of the little florets for a garnish for a salad that night and they were perfect.

Another way to eat these flowers is to turn them into a syrup. The only time consuming part is picking off the little flowers, but it goes fast and there are few kitchen chores more delightful, sitting in a cloud of spring fragrance touching gentle flowers.

A bouquet of uses

The syrup is sweet and floral, and the actual flavor varies from variety to variety. The syrup can be used to sweeten lemonade, my favorite use, or iced or hot tea. Add a bit of this to any cocktail where you want some sweet, or make a lilac fizzy drink by adding to club soda. You can also drizzle it on ice cream, pancakes, or over a robust cheese such as brie, decorated, of course, with a few more florets.

Use freshly picked lilacs that have not been sprayed with any type of pesticide. After you pick, give them a good shake to dislodge any hidden bees! They always seem to be there, working away.

My lilacs are pale in color, so I tossed in a few blueberries during the steeping to lend the lilac color I desired. I probably put a few too many in, since this  batch turned out more purple than lilac, but it’s still beautiful!


Lilac Syrup

  • 2 quarts lilac flowers
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • A few blueberries for color

Pick the flowers off the bunches taking care to use only the florets and not any green material. Rinse them off.

Combine the sugar and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. You want the sugar to dissolve. Then add the florets and turn the heat down to a bare simmer for about five minutes.

Remove from the heat and cover. Let this set for eight hours or overnight.


Strain, and you have your syrup! This will keep in the refrigerator for a week or two, or you can process it in sterilized jars in a hot water bath for ten minutes if you make a big batch. Or, simply freeze!

Lilac Lemonade: To one quart of freshly made lemonade, add 1/4 cup of lilac syrup, or sweeten to taste; I like less, others in the family, more.

Lilac time! I love it when the lilacs create a purple archway to my sunporch door!

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35 Comments Add yours

  1. Angela says:

    So intriguing, as always is the case with your posts. I can practically smell the blossoms.

    1. Ah thanks! Lilacs are one of those flowers that you really can almost smell just by looking at them!

  2. simplywendi says:

    oh my goodness, I had no idea this was a thing. lilacs are one of my favorite flowers. their season is way too short.

    1. I know, they are short-lived, but oh so splendid!

      1. simplywendi says:

        yes! splendid is the truth.

  3. Beautiful looking syrup!! Unfortunately lilacs dont grow here which is rare given that this area can grow pretty much anything under the sun 😀!! Love the image of the lilacs growing over your sun room!!!

    1. They are a beautiful, fragrant arch right now; in a day or so, the florets will start falling and my walkway will be a beautiful lavender color. I will try to remember to snap a shot and I’ll post it.

  4. Edible flowers , a perfect spring y idea!

    1. Smells so good, you have to eat them!

  5. Victoria says:

    Oh my goodness! This looks so pretty and sounds like a delicious addition to lemonade.

    1. It is a great way to sweeten lemonade or iced tea. No constant stirring to dissolve the sugar!

  6. Pastor Cathy says: Pastor Cathy Native

    On Wed, May 27, 2020 at 5:30 PM The New Vintage Kitchen wrote:

    > Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen posted: “Let’s eat the flowers! Lilac season > is glorious, though fleeting. I look forward to these voluptuous May > blossoms with great anticipation each year. With lots of old-fashioned > lilacs on my property, I know I will fill my vases every day, and the scent > wil” >

  7. Wow! I always loved lilac flowers and their scent! So beautiful! I wish I could have some 🌸 If the syrup is so wonderful as the scent than definitely is worth it 😉

    1. The flavors vary greatly from shrub to shrub, it has a light floral flavor and scent which is made delicious with the sugar!


    1. I keep it in the refrigerator, but if I wanted to put it on something hot such as pancakes, I would let it get to room temperature.

  9. Averyl says:

    I had no idea! Such beautiful photos, too!

    1. Thanks Avery! The subject is marvelous!

  10. CarolCooks2 says:

    What a glorious colour that syrup is, Dorothy…I love lilac but not a flower we get here…Love your images so very pretty :)x

    1. Thank you so much Carol! It is pretty.

  11. Such elegance in specialty syrup. I am pleased. 💜🌿

  12. I actually have lavender growing in my herb pot!! Sounds delightful!

    1. Do you make lavender syrup? Use the exact technique. Lavender syrup is even more yummy!!!!!

  13. Sherry M says:

    what a wonderful idea! and it must be lovely as you say to sit picking off the flowers, surrounded by the scent.

    1. It’s the best “in the moment” experience!

  14. I love this!

  15. Very interesting topic on Edible flower syrup and it looks so pretty !! 🌹

    1. Thank you so much! It really is pretty.

  16. Julia says:

    I had no idea that lilac flowers were edible. This has given me the idea to try this with my lavender.

    1. Oh, it’s wonderful with lavender! I have made that too, and I love it even more, but I’m crazy about lavender anything!

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