Really, doesn't that just sounds delicious? In our neighborhood there are loads of lilacs blooming. It seems every other house has big bushes of dark purple, violet, or pink-tinged lilacs. The smell wafts through the windows now and then, and I just soak it up because...
we do not have any lilac bushes
I wish we did. Maybe we will at some point. Here we have to go through submitting plans to an HOA in order to make landscaping changes. That's a whole new ballgame for us. In the meantime, I think we will just enjoy everyone else's lilac bushes...and ask our neighbors for blooms to make martinis!
Fortunately, our neighbors and neighborhood in general are very kind and generous folks. So, when I asked on the neighborhood Facebook page if anyone was willing to share, they were. We packed up the kids and took a evening walk to Andrea's house, whom we didn't know before the conception of a lilac lemon martini, but you never know how someone will come into your life, right? She picked a generous handful of blooms and I invited her over for drinks :)
Now, the secret to this martini is all in the Lilac simple syrup. It's really easy to make, it just takes time. The first thing you want to do is deflower your blooms. Lilac flowers are pretty easy to remove, just be mindful to avoid adding in the tiny green stems. They can affect the flavor of your syrup. Once the flowers are ready, use a mesh strainer to rinse them. You never know what critters you've brought along or what else might be on them. Once they are rinsed and ready, start your simple syrup.
Now, a simple syrup really is simple. It's just a one-to-one ratio of sugar to water. I went a little lighter on the sugar on this one, since I don't tend to like a really sweet drink. Instead, I used 1/2 cup sugar to 1 cup water. Bring that to a boil to dissolve your sugar, then add your flowers. Let it boil for a few minutes, then turn off the heat and let the pot sit...
a good 8 hours! This will allow the full flavor of the lilacs to infuse into your simple syrup and give it an amazing scent, flavor and color. Then you want to strain the syrup from the flowers. I'm pretty sure those sugar flowers, which still smelled great, could be used for something. At this moment, they are in the fridge awaiting inspiration!
It looks violet, doesn't it? But in person, it has a greenish tinge to it. You can keep a simple syrup in the fridge for a few weeks in a sealed container, which is why I got these bottles. That way I can try out all kinds of new creations!
At this point, you can add a few drops of Lemon essential oil, or you can wait until you make the martini. Totally optional. The fresh lemon adds the acidity that compliments the simple syrup. The lemon essential oil adds a lemony bitterness from the rind. Here's the recipe:
Cheers to new friends! What floral inspired cocktails have you tried lately?