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lilac syrup in a bottle surrounded by lilacs
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5 from 3 votes

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.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Resting Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 15 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20 tablespoons
Calories: 39kcal
Author: Hilda Sterner


  • 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. 
    Using a fine-mesh strainer, rinse the flowers thoroughly to remove any dust or tiny insects. Try to avoid adding the green 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 over medium heat. Continue to boil for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow the lilacs to infuse the syrup for 4 to 8 hours.
  • 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.
  • Pour the Lilac Simple Syrup in a sterilized jar or bottle and keep it refrigerated.


  • 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.
  • Make a thicker syrup and pour over pancakes or waffles.
  • 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.
  • Use in cocktails and to flavor vodka and gin based drinks.
  • When stored in the fridge, lilac syrup should be good for a few months. Store in the freezer for longer storage.
  • 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