Spring is finally here for most of the country and it’s time to celebrate by bringing the first of its bounty into cocktails!

While it will still be a while before most fruit and flowers can bloom, there are a few plant based cocktail syrups you can make to bring a taste of the new season to your drinks.

Forsythia in Bloom

Forsythia in Bloom

Photo by Alena Sergienko

Forsythia Syrup

As one of the first harbingers of spring, Forsythia is a bright, and welcoming sight to any landscape. The flowers are bright, slightly bitter, and very edible. For some, this might fall into the “just because you can eat it doesn’t mean you should” category, but when used thoughtfully it can make for a fun and unique addition to a cocktail. The flavor is light and slightly bitter, but syrups made form it will pick up a cheery yellow hue. Set aside some of the flowers to use as a garnish!

When picking flowers (or any plant) to be used in a syrup or edible make sure they are as far from the roadside as possible. Make sure to remove any stems to reduce bitterness.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup Fresh Flowers
  • 2 cup Water
  • 1 cup Honey*

Preparation: In a saucepan, boil your water and add honey until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the flower buds, making sure they are as submerged as possible. Let the flowers soak for a few hours or at least until the water has come to room temperature. Strain into a sanitized container and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

*Other sweeteners are optional, but honey will add to the color and flavor.


Lemon Thyme Syrup

Lemon Thyme Syrup

Lemon Thyme Syrup

Thyme is always a favorite and this syrup uses lemon thyme, which has a bright citrus and herbal flavor, with an added dose of lemon juice making a syrup that’s perfect for light and refreshing drinks. This syrup plays well with a wide range of lighter spirits but can get lost in bolder ones. Thyme is often a winter flavor as it leans savory, but lemon thyme is the fun and flirty cousin who you definitely want at your next garden party.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Lemon Thyme
  • 3/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Zest
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 cups Water

Preparation: Bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan, adding the zest and lemon juice once the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, add in the thyme and let rest until the mix has returned to room temperature. Filter into a satanized container and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.