DIY Recipes with Lilac Flowers


Lilacs have always been one of my favorite springtime flowers with their beautiful clusters of delicate fragrant blossoms. And, who could resist the aroma? It's the most captivatingly rich, sweet, floral, honeyed, uplifting scent which truly embodies the very spirit of spring. 🌸

This year, I felt especially inspired by lilacs and wanted to capture their essence so that I could enjoy them long after their blossoms have faded.  I've been having such fun with lilac flowers and wanted to share some of my favorite recipes (so far!) with you!  Not only can you use fresh lilacs in these versatile recipes, but you could also use roses, lavender, chamomile, rosemary, tulsi, and other flowers and herbs throughout the year. So, make sure to save these recipes if you'd like to refer back to them whenever you have freshly harvested herbs and flowers on hand because the possibilities are endless!

Lilac infusion (for cocktails, elixirs, or bitters)

Lilac infusions are a versatile way to utilize lilac flowers since the infused liquor can be used in cocktails, elixirs, or bitters.  Here are the steps to make a lilac infusion, plus the extra steps to transform the infusion into bitters or an elixir.

  1. Collect lilac flowers (clean and not sprayed).
  2. Carefully pick off the flowers, leaving the entire flower intact (much of the flavor is in the very end where it attaches to the sepal).
  3. Once the jar is completely full of flowers, add vodka to the top, cap, and shake.
  4. Allow the infusion to sit for 6 hours or overnight, shaking occasionally. Notes: the flowers will quickly lose their lovely purple shade as their color and essence imparts into the vodka and the extract will become bitter if the flowers are left in for too long.
  5. Strain out the flowers, then add another round of fresh flowers and repeat these steps again. Taste and repeat the process for a third time if needed.
  6. Once the desired flavor is reached, your infusion is complete! This lilac delight can be used in cocktails (I'm thinking that a lilac infused vodka lemonade sounds pretty delish!).
  7. For an elixir, simply add honey or simple syrup to taste.
  8. For bitters, leave the lilac flowers in longer and the extract will become more bitter as the tannins are released. Leave in for as long as you'd like and taste occasionally. If you'd like your bitters even more bitter, simply add a little dandelion root, gentian, or other bittering herb.

Lilac infused sugar

Lilac sugar is such a simple and versatile way to preserve and enjoy lilacs flowers all year long!  It can be sprinkled over sugar cookies, cakes, scones, muffins, and other treats, transformed into a simple syrup, or used in place of regular sugar in baked goods. P.S. I think that this would make such a fun birthday or housewarming gift!

  1. Collect lilac flowers, make sure that they are clean and dry.
  2. Carefully pick off the flowers, leaving the entire flower intact (much of the flavor is in the very end where it attaches to the sepal).
  3. Layer the lilac flowers with sugar in a glass jar. Use a neutral-flavored sugar of your choice, not brown sugar. White sugar is typically used, but you can also use organic sugar as long as it doesn't have a flavor that will overwhelm the delicate lilacs.
  4. Shake the jar, then place it in a dark, dry place (like a kitchen cabinet) and shake the jar daily. This helps mix the blend and prevents clumps from forming.
  5. After a week or two, taste the sugar. The dried lilac flowers can be sifted out or left in.  If you'd like more flavor, feel free to add another round of fresh lilac flowers and repeat the process.
  6. If the sugar clumps up, a quick whirl in a food processor should break up the clumps.

Lilac infused honey

Oh my goodness, imagine the possibilities! Lilac honey drizzled over fresh scones, toast, or english muffins, spooned into steaming mugs of hot tea, or simply enjoyed by the spoonful! For this recipe, I'm going to share a recipe which inspired me to start experimenting with lilac flowers in the first place.  If you're new to Grow Forage Cook Ferment, you're in for a treat!  Colleen regularly shares herbal and homesteading tips, and her recipes are always such a delight. It's one of my personal favorite blogs and Instagram accounts.  I don't recommend blogs very often, but this one is extra special and I think that you'll enjoy it!


Have you ever made anything with lilac flowers before? If so, I'd love to hear all about about it! Feel free to drop me a line anytime!


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