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Making Wild Violet Syrup

May 3rd, 2011

I mentioned yesterday that the wild violets were in full bloom and we’d been harvesting the blooms and the leaves for our salads. Since I don’t treat my lawn in any way, the violets have slowly taken over and now my entire lawn is dotted with beautiful purple blooms.

I decided to make some violet syrup this year. The syrup is a good source of vitamin C and is supposed to be a great cough syrup. It’s also said to help you fall asleep without making your drowsy. Since I can be a bit of an insomniac, this sounds wonderful to me!

Making violet syrup is no small feat, you need 8 oz of violet blossoms. At first this may not seem like a lot, until you start picking. I harvested a pint of blossoms and they weighed in at 1.2 oz. Out came the big half gallon mason jar and I spent some time sitting on the front lawn harvesting those tiny purple beauties. I’m sure my neighbors were wondering what in the world I was doing. It was quite relaxing though, I enjoyed myself. Mr Chiots saw me through the window and had to come out and get a photo.

It took me about an hour to pick a half gallon jar full of blossoms, which happened to weigh 8 oz. If you have kids this would be a great project for them to do, they would not doubt love this chore!

Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the blossoms and use a wooden spoon to slightly mash the blossoms down into the water. If you need a little more water to cover the blossoms add just enough to cover. I added an extra half cup of water. Let sit overnight on the counter. In the morning, strain out the blossoms and you’ll be left with a beautiful violet liquid. I bet this would be a wonderful natural dye for Easter eggs, or fabric.

Pour the violet water into a saucepan and add 2 cups of honey. Simmer for about 30 minutes until slightly thick and syrupy (keep an eye on it in the beginning as it can foam up and boil over). Pour into jar and store in the fridge. You can waterbath can this for 10 minutes if you’d like to make larger batches. I ended up with about two and a half cups of syrup.

I’m looking forward to using this syrup throughout the year. It tastes like honey and smells of violets and is a beautiful lavender color. It would taste wonderful on ice cream or in tea and as far as cough syrup goes, it’s so much better than the mediciny stuff you’d buy at the store.

Do you make any of your own herbal syrups?

48 Comments to “Making Wild Violet Syrup”
  1. KimH on May 3, 2011 at 5:53 am

    That is beautiful.. and amazingly simple, :D

    Reply to KimH's comment

  2. farmgal on May 3, 2011 at 6:07 am

    I make alot of flower syrup or Jelly’s, my favorite is lilac, I have five different types of flowering Lilac and each one makes just a slightly different flavor/scent and of course color.

    I make a number of different ones over the season, yours looks just lovely!

    Reply to farmgal's comment

  3. Alan on May 3, 2011 at 7:33 am

    We are planning on doing this today (if we get a break from the rain.) The kids are excited about doing the picking for me. We are also going to harvest some of the leaves and try them as a tea. I knew violets were edible, but I didn’t realize how good for you they could be.

    Reply to Alan's comment

  4. TreeHugginMomma on May 3, 2011 at 8:50 am

    How long will the syrup last in your fridge? We have a ton of violets and I was thinking about making jam or syrup, but I wasn’t sure how.

    Reply to TreeHugginMomma's comment

  5. Gabe on May 3, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Hello, Chiot’s Run! Nice to see a fellow Northeast Ohioan on here – I’m from Geauga County, but my wife grew up in Smithville, so she’s more from your neck of the woods.

    Anyways, our yard is still mostly bare clay (we just moved into our new house in the fall), but eventually, I’d like to experiment with adding more wild food to our diet, including violets. I’ve heard lots of good things about what I’d typically think of as weeds, so when the ‘weeds’ make their way into my yard and gardens (which is only a matter of time), I might as well make the best of it :)

    Reply to Gabe's comment

    • Susy on May 3, 2011 at 9:14 am

      It’s always nice to hear from a fellow Ohioan! I’m originally from Rittman, OH (very close to Smithville), in addition to Colombia, South America as well (very far away from Smithville). It is only a matter of time. Most weeds are actually herbs brought here by the settlers and surprisingly many of them are quite healthy & work quite well for some illnesses. I guess if it wasn’t good you wouldn’t other carrying it over on a boat!

      Good for you for letting the “weeds” take over so you can use them for food & medicine!

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Heather on May 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm

        So funny to stumble upon a blog and “see” people from Rittman OH!! We always go visit there because that is where my Uncle moved to when he got married!

        to Heather's comment

    • KimH on May 5, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      Waiving at Gabe.. Im in Lake Co. :)

      Reply to KimH's comment

  6. Emily Jenkins on May 3, 2011 at 9:30 am

    We are doing this today as well, here at Tanglewood, assuming the rain stays away. I plan to use our syrup to make lemonade this summer and to use for the main flavoring element in jelly candies (my favorite candy ever)!

    We have lots of violets at the horse farm where I work, and even more of them out in our orchard. For whatever reason, our orchard violets don’t ever bloom until late May, so we get a later crop which is great because it gives me to chances to harvest them. I wonder if I can make a violet goat cheese… I’ve had lavender and it’s wonderful.

    Reply to Emily Jenkins's comment

    • KimH on May 5, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      Oh wow.. that sounds awesome!

      Reply to KimH's comment

  7. Sarah on May 3, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I live in Missouri and I may have to see if I can find some of these. This is just simply stunning and I had no idea this could be done. I am very new to the world of eating flowers and such from the land. My eyes have been opened and I am amazed at Gods creation and how He planted things for us to take care of ourselves. What I used to think was weeds I now realize has entirely different purpose. I love your blog and all the information here.

    Reply to Sarah's comment

  8. Marcia on May 3, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Looks like bottled spring!
    I make my own lemon ginger syrup and use it for colds and upset stomach. It works great in soda water as a natural ginger-ale.

    Reply to Marcia's comment

  9. Kaytee on May 3, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I just noticed some wild violets growing at my fiancee’s grandparents farm this past weekend. It was only a small patch though, so I’m not sure I could round up enough to make a batch of syrup, but I might just have to try this weekend.

    Reply to Kaytee's comment

  10. Brittany P. on May 3, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Not yet but thank you so much for sharing! Your blog continues to be a wonderful source of organic gardening information and inspiration. Isn’t it amazing what can happen when we let mother nature decide where things should grow? Love it!

    Reply to Brittany P.'s comment

  11. Donna B. on May 3, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Aaaahhh! I was eagerly awaiting this post since you commented yesterday about it – it’s everything I thought it would be!
    [I would love to try this atop a nice fresh bowl of frozen yogurt… mmmm.]
    I do hope though that I can save some of the violets in my yard – the prodominate area that they reside is in the backyard among my dogs and their romping… Sadly they dont “choose their location” to be one particular area, so none of the violets may be… ‘clean’ enough. Ahem.
    I wonder if they transplant well… I’d love to move a patch of them into my front yard and let them spread!
    I think tonight calls for a spinach, violet, and dandelion salad… you inspire me so much!

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

  12. mich on May 3, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    sadly no wild violets in my lawn…plenty of weeds tho! lol.
    I usually make elderflower cordial and then later in the year rosehip syrup :)

    Reply to mich's comment

    • Susy on May 3, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      I’m sure can find some to dig up in the area and transplant if you want to establish them, if not I can mail you some tubers.

      We too love elderberries, need to make cordial with the blossoms this year!

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • farmgal on May 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm

        Hi Susy

        Do you know if Elderberries come true from seed? Thanks

        to farmgal's comment

  13. MAYBELLINE on May 3, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    But that sounds great on ice cream. Beautiful.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • MAYBELLINE on May 4, 2011 at 2:29 am

      Do you think this would make a nice glaze on grilled meat? Chicken perhaps? What about ham?

      Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

      • Susy on May 4, 2011 at 8:54 am

        I bet it would especially on chicken.

        to Susy's comment

  14. Daedre Craig on May 3, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Can’t say I’ve ever tried this, but my yard is full of violets!

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

  15. elizabeth on May 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I’d love to make wild violet syrup, but we don’t have them here in Montana. I’ll be making dandelion jelly this Spring, if it ever gets warm enough for the dandelions to come up!

    Reply to elizabeth's comment

  16. Kathi on May 3, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I was so inspired by yesterday’s blog that I ran outside, picked violets and candied them.(Took well over an hour total) When they were drying, I went to show my husband how beautiful they came out and discovered the ants thought they were delicious too! I was very disappointed and tossed them, but now I see the humor in it and think it’s a funny story. Every early May I seem to get occasional tiny ants finding there way into the house,although this year it didn’t seem to be a problem until the violets…

    Reply to Kathi's comment

    • Susy on May 4, 2011 at 1:09 am

      Oh, I’d still eat them with ants – but then I grew up in South America and we actually ate fried giant ants :)

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • KimH on May 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm

        Oh yum!! Why not? LOL

        to KimH's comment

  17. Jenny on May 3, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I have never tried herbal syrups but you have inspired me. My husband thought I was crazy moving all my violets out of the lawn and into my herb garden so they wouldn’t get cut before I could pick them. So glad to see someone else picks them too. I hope to make more violet jelly this week-end!

    Reply to Jenny's comment

  18. Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE on May 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    What a neat post! My husband is addicted to violet syrup in his Manhattan cocktails. He bought some fancy Italian violet syrup recently but of course it is laden with sugar and food coloring.

    Reply to Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE's comment

  19. multikulinaria on May 5, 2011 at 4:57 am

    These flowers look lovely. So does your sirup. Unfortunately violets don’t grow here. At least I haven’t seen many…
    I was hoping, to make syrup from dandelions this spring, but when I set out by bicycle to gather ’em there were hardly any… Weird!

    Reply to multikulinaria's comment

  20. Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on May 6, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Not only does that look gorgeous, but it seems useful too! How much would one actually take to use it as cough syrup? And do you take it by the tablespoonful, or do you add it to water or tea?

    I’m very intrigued.

    Reply to Jenn @ Frugal Upstate's comment

    • Susy on May 6, 2011 at 8:55 am

      I’m guessing a teaspoon or two like regular cough syrup. I will be putting some in my tea in the evenings to reap the sleep inducing benefits!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  21. Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on May 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Well I’ve been sitting out in the yard this afternoon picking violets. I swear everyone I’ve ever met here in town either walked by or drove by and beeped. Just call me “crazy neighbor lady who picks violets in her yard”. . .

    Reply to Jenn @ Frugal Upstate's comment

    • Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on May 7, 2011 at 9:00 am

      Well, I have about a cup and a half of violet syrup sitting in a jar on the stove cooling enough to put it in the fridge :)

      Reply to Jenn @ Frugal Upstate's comment

  22. Martha on May 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I’m ashamed to say I never knew what a violet was. After your post I went outside to check on my blueberry bushes and notice I have a huge patch of them on the side of the house. I was so excited. My daughter and I got to picking. We got a packed pint so we’ll see how much syrup we get. Thank you so much for this post. It came at the perfect time since they’d probably get mowed by tomorrow.

    Reply to Martha's comment

  23. Mija on May 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I showed this post to my son and he immediately got busy. As we sat outside picking violets and enjoying one of our first actual spring days here in NE Ohio – I smiled at what a special memory we were making. He’s 12 and I figure there may not be too many more blessed moments like this ’til he’s gone and showing his own kids how to make violet syrup….thank you Susy for sharing your life with all of us!

    Reply to Mija's comment

  24. […] for today, I started Violet Syrup.  The violets are steeping right now.  I half gallon jar filled with violets, and 4 cups of […]

    Reply to She Went to a Heifer Parade May 7, 2011 « What did she do today?'s comment

  25. Lucy La Hurreau on May 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    When I read about the kids being excited, I remembered a story my mother used to tell me about her granddad coming in and saying, “I have to go pick weeds. Who’s coming?” What a wonderful time for the kids to spend with parents and grandparents.
    Then I got to thinking…my grandchild has no chance for the future…a grandma that is a physical therapist, an aunt who is a pediatrician, and a grandma who is an herbalist….yep…she’s a doctor who will be practicing Conventional and Alternative Medicine.

    Reply to Lucy La Hurreau's comment

  26. […] wild violets are also blooming, I’ve been picking them for salads, for making syrup and to dry for tea. I can never get enough of these little […]

    Reply to Sunday photos: Bloom Day « Not Dabbling In Normal's comment

  27. Free Food: Violet Syrup | Frugal Upstate on May 26, 2011 at 8:49 am

    […] year I decided to add to my violet repertoire with a NEW idea, one that I saw over at Chiot’s Run-Violet Syrup! I headed out to the yard to try my […]

    Reply to Free Food: Violet Syrup | Frugal Upstate's comment

  28. Allison on February 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    I have made Wild Violet Jelly, but I like this use much better! Have you used it as a cough syrup this past year? Do you feel like it worked well for you.

    Reply to Allison's comment

    • Susy on February 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      I actually haven’t been sick so I haven’t been able to try it as a cough syrup. I dried some of the flowers too and have been meaning to use them in tea to see if they do encourage sleep, though I haven’t had trouble sleeping lately either.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  29. Kris @ Attainable Sustainable on February 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Wow. I’ve never lived anywhere with an abundance of wild violets, but now I’m wishing I had. What a gorgeous syrup!

    (PS: Error. Parsing JSON Request failed. error! not authorized 211e46303a)

    Reply to Kris @ Attainable Sustainable's comment

  30. Deb on February 27, 2012 at 12:43 am

    I’m from northwest/central Ohio.
    I want to try this syrup this spring. have some violets, just have to have hubby mow around them while they’re blooming.

    Reply to Deb's comment

  31. Katie on February 27, 2012 at 7:24 am

    How do you make jelly out of violets ? Sounds lovely.

    Reply to Katie's comment

  32. Cindy on February 28, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Ohhhh . . . violet season is almost over here in Texas, especially in this mild winter. They start blooming in late December, and I know I could have picked enough in January. My wild violets are also a much paler purple than the ones I grew around in Ohio – they were more like yours.

    Today I scoured my entire yard and two neighbors and got only a pint or so of flowers. There’s lots of other flowers blooming – I wonder if wood sorrel or carolina jessamine would work? Meanwhile, I’m gonna try with the smidge I picked, and put this idea in my January folder.

    Reply to Cindy's comment

  33. Joan on April 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    For those without enough violets to make into syrup, here are a few other nice uses: put the flowers in salads – delicious and beautiful; or dip the flowers in egg whites, then in sugar then let them harden and either eat them as is or use them to decorate cakes.

    Reply to Joan's comment

  34. nuun on April 21, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Our yard is covered in wild violets. I picked some violet flowers yesterday while I was weeding. I put some in a salad today and I brewed a tea (which came out a nice dark purple color) this morning. The tea tastes like spinach water to me. The violets raw mainly taste like spinach to me as well. I’m not sure I’d want to make a syrup or jelly out of something that tastes like spinach. They do make the water a pretty color.

    Since wild violets are acidic, I added some of the tea from the flowers to my henna mix for my hair and added a green tea bag instead of using lemon juice. I haven’t applied it yet. It has to sit for many hours before the henna is ready.

    Reply to nuun's comment

  35. Lauren Magnolia on April 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Do you think the flowers could be gathered, then frozen, in batches until a large batch could be made? I know some properties can be lost in the freeze…

    Many Blessings, forums like this are so appreciated <3

    Reply to Lauren Magnolia's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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