DIY Recipes with Lilac Flowers (& Other Fresh Botanicals)


lilac herbal extract infusion recipe diy fawn lily botanica


Lilacs are one of the most magical springtime treats with their beautiful clusters of delicate, fragrant blossoms and an irresistible, unforgettable aroma which wafts through the spring air. Their scent is truly captivating, rich, sweet, floral, honeyed, and uplifting all at once. Lilacs truly embody the very spirit of spring, and it's no wonder that we look forward to their blossoms each year! 🌸

Sadly, lilacs only bloom for a very short time, and I've often wished that I could bottle their fleeting essence so that I could enjoy them long after their blossoms have faded. Here are some of my favorite recipes that I've found to utilize lilacs in herbal extracts, elixirs, bitters, cocktails, infused sugar, simple syrup, and infused honey. This way, you can enjoy their beautiful aroma and flavor well past the spring months!

Not only can you use fresh lilacs in these versatile recipes, but you can also use roses, lavender, chamomile, rosemary, tulsi, mint, lemon verbena, and other flowers and aromatic herbs throughout the year. So, make sure to save these recipes and refer back to them whenever you have freshly harvested botanicals on hand because the possibilities really are endless!

Lilac Infusion for Lilac Infused Cocktails, Lilac Elixir, or Lilac 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 (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 herbal extract infusion recipe diy fawn lily botanica

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. 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

Wow, 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 sharing a recipe which inspired me to begin experimenting with lilac flowers in the first place. On the blog Grow Forage Cook Ferment, Colleen regularly shares herbal and homesteading tips, and her recipes are incredible! https://www.growforagecookferment.com/lilac-flower-infused-honey/

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!
lilac flowers
Irene Wolansky Fawn Lily Botanica
Irene is the owner, founder, formulator, and chief maker at Fawn Lily Botanica. Prior to beginning Fawn Lily Botanica in 2012, she worked within the natural and herbal product industries for two decades. Her herbal medicine and skin care articles and recipes have been featured and published in national magazines, blogs, newsletters, and journals including Willow and Sage Magazine, MaryJanesFarm Magazine, Mountain Rose Herbs, the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) Journal, EarthFirst Journal, Farming Magazine, Amaze Magazine, Eugene Magazine, and the Eugene Weekly among others. In her spare time, she can be found chasing her energetic twins around and exploring Oregon’s wild places.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

.product-form__cart-submit { background-color: #6a040f; border: 2px solid #6a040f; color: white; } /* Hover */ .product-form__cart-submit:hover { background-color: #B84317 !important; border: 2px solid #B84317 !important; color: white !important; }