Every spring, when violets carpet our backyard, my kids and I pick the edible flower to make this special pink lemonade. It's an easy and fun activity with the kids, and their favorite part is always the way the lemon juice turns hot pink when the indigo-hued violet water is added.
To make simple syrup, simply combine 1 part water to 1 part sugar (for example, 1 cup of each) in a small pot. Simmer and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. Cool then use immediately or store in the fridge.
- 2 Cups freshly picked violets, plus more for garnish
- 1 1/2 Cup hot water
- 1 1/2 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 6 lemons)
- 3/4 Cups simple syrup
- 1/2 Cup cold water
Step 1: In a glass measuring cup or bowl, combine 2 cups violets with 1 1/2 cups hot water. Stir and allow to steep for about 30 minutes, until the water turns indigo.
Step 2: Put the 1 1/2 cups lemon juice in a pitcher. Place a fine mesh strainer on top of the pitcher and pour the violet water in - watch as the lemon juice turns pink! Press down on the violets with a spoon to squeeze out liquid. Compost the violets.
Step 3: Stir 3/4 cup simple syrup and 1/2 cup cold water into the pitcher of violet lemonade, or to taste. How much simple syrup and water will depend in part on how tart your lemons are, and how sweet you like your lemonade.
Step 4: Fill glasses with ice and pour in violet lemonade. Garnish with fresh violets, if desired. Violet lemonade will also keep covered in the fridge for at least a few days.