violet recipes

Violet Liqueur

Violets and Vodka

Since I posted a picture of some of my violets, steeping in vodka, I have received requests for directions on how to make violet liqueur. So here it is.

Violet liqueur is, in its most basic sense, a combination of violets and vodka, steeped together for several weeks, then strained and filtered. Once strained, the mixture is sweetened to taste with simple syrup.

Violet liqueur can just be sipped and enjoyed as is, but it is often used as an ingredient in cocktails.

I have made violet liqueur with the violets that grow in my yard. They are mostly white, with a small amount of purple color. The liqueur tastes great, but doesn’t have a lot of color. It comes out a light golden color. That is fine with me.

For this batch, I am using purple violets I got from a friend’s garden. The color will end up a light purple color. To make the color of your liqueur more purple, you can add a few raspberries or blackberries to the mix.

We need to talk about sweetening, too. A simple syrup is added to suit your taste. The recipe for simple syrup is at the end of this post. How sweet you make your liqueur determines whether it is a liqueur, or creme de violette. Lightly sweetened and it is violet liqueur. Double the amount of simple syrup and it is creme de violette. Strictly your choice and preference.

If you prefer to leave your violet mixture unsweetened, it is a violet eau du vie, which translates to violet water of life.

I use 1/2 cup of simple syrup for each cup of liqueur. Equal amounts of liqueur and syrup creates the creme de violette.

Violet Liqueur

1- 1 1/2 c. violet flowers, rinsed and drained

1 c. vodka

1″ piece vanilla bean, optional

a few fresh raspberries or blackberries, optional

1/2 c. simple syrup recipe follows

Combine violet flowers and vodka in a jar with vanilla bean and berries, if using. Screw on the lid and place the jar in a cool, dark place for at least 3 weeks for the flavors to combine. You can add more violets as you harvest them, if you don’t have enough at first. After a few weeks, strain out the flowers and other ingredients and discard them. Filter vodka mixture through coffee filters or several layers of cheesecloth to get it really clear. Sweeten to taste. Return to jar, seal and allow flavors to mellow another week. Enjoy!!

 

Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is made from 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil, then cool. You will have 1 cup of syrup. You can sweeten with honey, if you prefer. Watch when you substitute honey for sugar, as it is sweeter and stronger flavored. Add a small amount, let it sit for a day or so- and give it a taste. You can always add more sweetener later.

 

 

Violet Jelly

Violet Jelly

I am always interested in new and different ways to use my edible flowers. A few years ago, I started making jelly with my violets. I started by making infused vinegar from some of the violets. I like the vinegar for dressing salads. Any I don’t use for jelly, I save for that.

Later, I decided to use some of the violet vinegar as a base for the jelly. It worked out great. The end product had a sweet taste of violets, but the vinegar added a tartness I really liked. It also came out a stunning pink color.

Since the violets are steeped in vinegar- you can harvest over several weeks- just keep adding blossoms to the vinegar. If you don’t have a lot of blossoms at once, you can harvest a few at a time over a longer period of time. The violets in vinegar will keep, so you don’t have to make the jelly right away.

I like to have equal parts flowers and vinegar for a nice strong floral flavor, but you can get by with fewer blossoms if you need.

Start with a clean jar, and put your violets in it. Pour vinegar over to cover. White vinegar or white wine vinegar can be used. Heck you could probably use red wine vinegar, too. Cider vinegar might affect the color. You can continue to add flowers to the jar as you pick them. I picked 4 cups of violets and put them in a quart mason jar. I added vinegar to fill the jar, closed it up and let the flavors blend for a week. I could have let it sit longer if I was too busy to get to it. If you are in a hurry and want to make the jelly right away just heat up the vinegar and steep the flowers.

After a week, I strained it out then poured the mixture through a coffee filter to get it really clear. I ended up with 3 1/2 cups of violet “vinegar” to use for my violet jelly. I had a basic idea of how much sugar I would need so I went from there. It worked out great and jelled perfectly.

 

 

Violet Jelly

3 1/2 cups violet vinegar*

1/2 c. lemon juice

1 box powdered pectin

5 c. sugar

Wash and prep jars and get water bath heating up. Place violet vinegar in pan and add lemon juice and pectin. Bring mixture to a rolling boil over high heat. Add sugar and return to the boil. Stir often. Once mixture gets to a full rolling boil, boil 1 minute. Remove jelly from heat and skim off any foam. Ladle hot liquid into jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims and adjust lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes for 4 oz. and 8 oz. jars. Remove jars to cooling rack and check seals once they have cooled down. Yield: about 7 half pint jars or  13-14  (4 oz.) jars.

*For 3 1/2 cups of violet vinegar you will need 3-4 cups of blossoms and 3 1/2 cups of vinegar.

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