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lilac syrup in a bottle surrounded by lilacs
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5 from 1 vote

How to Make Delicious Lilac Syrup

This Lilac Simple Syrup recipe is a new favorite and a great way to make use of lilacs when they're in bloom. The syrup has endless uses and imparts a beautiful lilac flavor to many recipes.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Resting Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 15 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20 tablespoons
Calories: 39kcal


  • 1 cup fresh lilacs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 slices orange or lemon slice (fresh or dehydrated)
  • 1-3 cardamom pods (optional)
  • 4 blueberries (for color, optional)


  • Pick fresh lilac clusters when in bloom. Approximately 4 clusters yield 1 cup of flowers, but this will also depend on the variety of lilacs, and the size of the clusters. 
    Rinse the flowers thoroughly to remove any dust or tiny insects. Try to avoid adding the stems and leaves, which some say can make the syrup bitter.
  • Add lilacs, sugar, orange slices, and cardamom (if using) to a small saucepan and cover with 1 cup of water. If you want to tint the syrup purple, add a few blueberries. 
  • Stir to dissolve the sugar while bringing the mixture to a boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow the lilacs to infuse the syrup for 4 to 8 hours. Note: If you'd like the syrup thicker, you can cook the syrup a few minutes longer, or use more sugar/less water.
  • Strain the syrup using a fine strainer. A soup bag would be even better. Press down on the flowers to extract as much syrup as possible.
  • Store the Lilac Simple Syrup in a sterilized jar or bottle and keep it refrigerated. Use the lilac syrup within one month or freeze it for longer storage.


  • If you add blueberries to enhance the color of the syrup, cut them in half and smash them, if necessary, to release their color.
  • The longer you allow the syrup to infuse, the stronger the lilac flavor will be.
  • Do you have access to a lot of lilac bushes? If so, make larger batches of syrup and can to use when lilacs are not in season.
  • Freeze lilac syrup in ice cube trays and plop the cubes into a jar of lemonade or ice tea. Go a step further and add a few lilacs into each cube before freezing.
  • A way to tell if the lilac syrup has gone bad is if the syrup at the bottom of the jar gets cloudy. If this happens, discard the syrup.


Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 1mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 10g