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Flower Syrups!

Oh, Springtime! So much to forage! Redbuds, magnolias, grape hyacinths, wisteria, locust blossoms, forsythia, and that's just flowers!

Flower Syrups are really easy: once you've trimmed* and rinsed your flowers, pour enough hot water over them to cover, and leave them to infuse overnight or for a few hours. Once you strain the infusion, you can easily re-heat it to add the sugar. You can use any sugars (honey, maple or hickory syrup), but regular granulated sugar preserves the color and the original floral flavor.

The standard simple syrup recipe is 1-to-1, but I like to start with about a 1/2 (sugar) to 1 ratio and go up from there if need be.

*flowers make beautifully colored infusions and are the taste-good parts, so trim them well! For example, violets grow in large groups containing the violet and white morphs, so if you're going for color you'll want to exclude the white ones as much as possible.

** One more note on violet (also applies to grape hyacinth and butterfly pea, possibly others) infusions and syrups: the blue pigment is from anthocyanins, which react to pH. Acids (like lemon juice) will turn these infusions/syrups pink! For more science: acids change the amount of free hydrogen in the mixture and thus the molecular electron confinement (from high-excitement/movement of blue to lower-excitement pink) of the color molecules you have extracted. Or something like that.

Syrups can be used to make natural sodas, cocktails, shrubs, cookies and drizzles, the list goes on and we'll explore them later!

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