Lilacs blossoming are an endearing and abiding sign of spring. With their sweet floral blooms and whimsical scent, lilacs offer a momentary beauty as well as medicinal properties in the brief time of splendor. In herbal medicine, lilacs act as an anti-inflammatory, an anti-microbial, an anti-fungal, a sedative, and a blood-sugar stabilizer within the body. Lilac also has several skin-soothing properties in it. These fragrant blooms only last for a small sliver of time throughout the year; this recipe is a way to preserve their delicate, medicinal properties.
Pack the lilac and berries, if using, in a quart-sized mason jar. In a small saucepan, bring the filtered water to a boil. Once boiled, turn off the heat and add the sweetener of your choice. Stir until dissolved, Carefully pour the sweetener over the lilacs into the quart jar. Cover the jar with a cloth and set to the side and allow it to steep for about 4 hours, or overnight. Strain the spent lilacs through a fine mesh sieve and store the syrup in the refrigerator. This recipe makes about a quart of syrup. Serve a couple tablespoons along with sparkling water. It also makes a lovely addition to the second fermentation of home-brewed Kombucha or Jun tea.