It's finally here; flower season has arrived! Surrounding myself with fresh flowers in my tiny apartment, breathing the scented air in the park, and adding edible blossoms to my food—I've been dreaming of it all winter long. Edible flowers are such a joy on a plate, and I love to add them to fresh spring salads and to my vegan ice cream experiments for a dash of color and flavor. But my all-time favorite is making fermented flower water.
You can create aromatic fizzy drinks using scented edible flowers such as elderflower, apple, and acacia blossoms, or lilac. While elderflower cordial is a tradition in our family, this time I decided to experiment with lilac.
Fermented drinks are a great addition to your diet because they nourish your microbiome, stimulating the immune system, nutrient absorption, and digestion. Just like kimchi or sauerkraut in winter, having fermented drinks when the weather is warmer ensures a good protective barrier against viruses and, some studies say, keeps your mood on the happy side.
To make this lovely flavored fermented lilac drink, you only need organic raw honey, purified water, and a balcony in the sun (or simply your kitchen counter)—and, of course, fresh lilac blooms. I like to add different flavors to enrich its taste and benefits, so I added freshly grated ginger, lemons, and grapefruit for a tangy twist. Ginger is a digestive soother and works great in summer drinks, adding a bit of refreshing spiciness.
Organic honey is a good fermentation starter because it's basically a combination of yeasts, nutrients, and sugar. When yeasts in the honey consume the sugar, you get the fizzy bubbles that make this drink so agreeable. If you want to get more bubbles, you can add just a pinch of active yeast to stimulate fermentation.
Lilac, Ginger and Citrus Cordial
- Large glass jar
- Mesh strainer
- 8 cups purified water
- 3 tablespoons organic raw honey
- ¼ teaspoon active yeast
- 2 fresh lilac inflorescences, rinsed
- 1 organic lemon, cut into slices
- 1 organic grapefruit, cut into slices
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- In a large glass jar, combine the water, honey, and yeast, and mix until the honey is dissolved.
- Add the citrus, ginger, and lilac flower; stir to combine.
- Cover the jar without tightening it, and place the jar on the kitchen countertop or outside in the sun.
- Stir it at least once a day with a wooden spoon.
- After 48 hours, it should be fizzy enough, but leave it longer if you want more, until it gets the desired fizziness.
- Strain and transfer into glass bottles. Keep them in the refrigerator.
- Serve chilled with lemon slices.