The end of winter and the start of spring hold two special holidays: St. Valentine's Day and Mother's Day (as celebrated in the United States). Flowers are usually front and center during these two special holidays. The later doesn't give way to as many local fresh flowers as Mother's Day might but, no worries, dried flowers to the rescue!
There are so many wonderful things that you can do with dried flowers for Mother's Day and St. Valentines Day (or any time of year) but, why not make an edible bouquet? This isn't any edible bouquet though. Edible in this instance means a drink, but first we need to make a rose and lavender simple syrup. The question is though, how do you make simple syrup?
Before we start:
This herbal information is just that, information. This blog post and I DO NOT INTEND to treat, cure, or diagnose any disease or illness. This is for informational, educational and entertainment purposes only. Please consult a physician before using herbs medicinally. Grab all the deets on the Medical jargon here.
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Photo by @kaylajoycreative
Before we dive into making our own edible bouquet lets see what kind of a pallet we have to work with and which flowers are edible? There are so many wonderful ones to choose from.
Some of the edible flowers are more savory like:
I hear ya, I hear ya, "But CeAnne! This is a simple syrup! And simple syrups are sweet!" Well my friend, they don't have to be. A savory syrup an be used not only in mixed drinks but would also make a fabulous addition to any salad dressing or maybe in cream cheese to top a savory scone or cracker with.
With that, we of course cannot forget the more delicate, sweeter and lighter version of dried flowers when it comes to crafting an edible bouquet for your DIY simple syrup. Here is that fabulous list of edible flowers:
Ok, I won't continue to go on (yes, there is more!) but the list can be rather extensive and we want to get to making your own edible arrangement or blend for your simple syrup! Now that we know some of the flowers we have to choose from and use in our edible bouquet for herbal loose leaf tea blend we need to pick 1-3 of the ones we want to use. Some of these won't taste as great even if they are edible and are more for looks like the English Daisy but some of them will impart a fabulous flavor to our homemade simple syrup.
When choosing you might go with some that you grew and those will be the ones that you use in your blend. Those really are the best kind! Maybe lilac simple syrup is on your list or rose simple simple, or lavender simple syrup! It's more than ok to start with just one flower. For today's recipe though we are going to use a mixture of 4 different flowers and this recipe is made with dried ones though you may certainly use fresh flowers.
1 part dried chamomile
1 part dried calendula
1/4 part dried lavender
1/4 part dried rose petals
1/8 part dried orange peel
Mix all the dried flowers and dried orange peel in a bowl until evenly incorporated and you are set for the simple syrup recipe below. Or if you just can't wait, steep 1 teaspoon of herbs in 6-8 oz of boiling water for 5-7 minutes for a nice cuppa tea!
Now if you don't have the resources for mixing your own flowers, or you just want to save on time you might be asking where can I buy edible flowers? The best place to get flowers if from a local farmer who doesn't use any chemicals. We love our local lavender farmer, Eagle Creek Lavender for our better than Organic and grown with love culinary lavender. So check out your local farmer's market or maybe even Facebook Market Place. When we can't get them local or grow them ourselves though we usually head on over to Starwest Botanicals to checkout their selection of edible dried flowers. If you really aren't into mixing your own and just want to make this fabulous simple syrup in the recipe today head on over to Farmhouse Teas and grab the Rose Garden Repose Herbal tea to get making this DIY simple syrup ASAP!
Photo by @kaylajoycreative
Now that we have looked into which flowers are edible, the different kinds of edible flowers and how to make your own edible arrangement, it's time to put those dried flowers to work and create our DIY simple syrup. Whether you are making a rose syrup, lavender simple syrup or lilac simple syrup the recipe is basically the same. This can be a simple syrup for cake, a simple syrup for flavoring kombucha on the second ferment or even a simple syrup for your coffee or latte. OR... use it in this Fizzy Vodka Rose Cocktail for St. Valentine's / Mother's Day!
Cocktail - makes 1 cocktail
Note: Make this cocktail even fancier by freezing some of the loose tea into an ice cube tray with water. Leave out vodka for a fancy mocktail.
You have mastered your DIY Simple Syrup and it's time to save the extra! But...
Do you need to refrigerate simple syrup?
What is the simple syrup shelf life? How long is simple syrup good for? Really, how long does a homemade simple syrup last?
What is the best simple syrup bottle?
Does simple syrup go bad?
Is there a simple syrup substitute if this recipe doesn't work for me?
Let's cover some of that really quick before you head off to make this fabulous cocktail (or if your me, mocktail). So does simple syrup really need to be refrigerated? Yes! Simple syrup is basically infused sugar and water but you want to make sure to still keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it next. Simple syrup's shelf life in the fridge is about 1-4 weeks depending on the flavor of your syrup. It won't go bad per say, but it could get a little alcoholic... which if you are making this cocktail might not be bad. Just look for any off smells, and mold would be a give away that it shouldn't be used any more.
If you are looking for a simple syrup substitute it will depend on what the ingredient is that you can't have or don't want. For myself I'm allergic to sugar so I would likely create my simple syrup using maple syrup instead of sugar or maybe a raw honey.
Now if your looking for the best simple syrup bottle to store your lovely creation in I would totally go with a mini swing top bottle often used for storing kombucha or beer in. They work for so many wonderful things. Though if you are in a pinch there is nothing wrong with a standard canning jar or even a salad dressing container like this one here.
Ok! Now I'm curious, which flavor of simple syrup are you going to make first? Do you grow flowers that you can't wait to use in this recipe? What will you use your simple syrup in? Leave me a comment below!
Photo by @kaylajoycreative