Save Your Lilacs!

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Hi Everyone! This is a really quick heads-up post. Lilac season is in full bloom (at least where I am) right now, and we have a lot of them in our garden. I plan to make Lilac Wine with them, and thought that you might want to try it, too. It would be a shame, however, to cut down every gorgeous bunch and pluck them of their petals without enjoying them first. So, this is what I am doing, and you might want to join in as well, in preparation for making Lilac Wine of your own.

Step 1. Enjoy your lilacs.  Bring them in and put them in a vase, and breathe in their rich, intoxicating fragrance.
An extra note:  Don’t use store-bought lilacs. There is no way to know how they were grown, and whether they are contaminated with chemicals. Also, if you are foraging for them, don’t pick them from along the highway (there are tons growing there in our area right now) because they will be coated with car fume residues.

Step 2. When they begin to droop, pluck them.  It takes time, so have a seat, put on a podcast, and pluck the tiny blossoms from their stems. I find this very meditative and therapeutic. If you have kids, they will probably want to help.

Step 3. Freeze them.  Put them in a ziplock bag and pop them into the freezer. You will want to collect roughly the same amount of flowers you are hoping for in wine– a gallon container full, for example, of flowers, for a gallon of wine. I am inclined to think that the volume can be a little less if we are letting them wilt a bit first. We are going for about 3- 4 quarts of collected flowers.

Step 4. Stand by.  I will be dilligently following Steps 1-3, and then I’ll make some wine, and tell you all about it. Then you can make some, too!

Step 5. MAKE the Lilac Wine!

If you would like to use your lilacs, but won’t be able to collect enough for wine-making, then you can save them for tea! Just hang bunches upside down to dry. Once completely dehydrated, pull of the petals and store in an air-tight jar or tin, and steep as you would any loose herbal tea.

So… Making Lilac Wine– Are you in?

This post was shared at: Homestead Barnhop, Fat Tuesday, The Family Table, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways.

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26 Responses to Save Your Lilacs!

  1. Heather Kallimani May 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    I can’t wait to read about how you make it! I have never heard of lilac wine and I will start saving my blooms now!

    • Ariana Mullins May 16, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      Hurray! I have never made it before either, but this will be my 4th country wine to try, and should be a fun project. Glad you’re in!

    • June May 29, 2018 at 6:21 pm #

      I take my Hydradrea and after it changes color I spray it with lock tight hair spray. It has been on our kitchen table all winter and still is. The lilacs are in the house. I took one and sprayed it and it’s in the garage overnight. I’ll see what it looks like tomorrow! Thanks for sharing all the interesting stories. Wish I liked wine! June

  2. Hazel May 16, 2013 at 5:49 am #

    I had no idea lilac was edible until this year and now I’ve read about using it in food 3 times this week!

    Sadly I don’t have lilac in this garden, though I have been wondering whether I could squeeze one in as I do love it. I was sniffing the trees in a garden centre last week 🙂 Wonder if I could cadge some from someone else’s garden in exchange for a bottle of wine?!

  3. Anonymous May 16, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    OK now go on with the rest on the story how to make the wine?

    • Ariana Mullins May 16, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      Well, you’ll have to wait! I haven’t made it before (but I have made other country wines) so now I am saving my petals and will guide you through shortly.

  4. Caterina B May 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    I assume that one could use WHITE lilacs, too? Twelve years ago when we bought our little farm way out in the mountains I chose to plant a white lilac instead of a purple. I have always loved lilacs!
    I am going to try this although mine have not bloomed yet. They are on the verge, though, and I can’t wait. Here, at my elevation every day blooms hold off means less chance of a killing frost if you can imagine that! We also have almost blooming apricot, cherry, plum and lots of apple trees. We often don’t get much fruit because of (as I complained already) the altitude. This looks like it could be a good year!

    • Ariana Mullins May 17, 2013 at 10:13 am #

      Caterina, I am positive that white lilacs would be just as good. Our pear blossoms have just blown off our tree, and we don’t seem to have any other fruit trees in bloom. Our wintry weather has been creeping back over here, getting pretty cold at night, but not quite freezing. Fingers crossed for some good stuff!

  5. bellavistafarm May 27, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    Oooohhh! Looks like those blossoms would make great wine, too bad I don’t have lilacs. 🙁
    Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesday!

  6. dragonswing May 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, we had a late frost that nipped the lilacs just as they were blooming. Got very few flowers. Such a shame, cause I love the smell. Didn’t realize you could make wine out of them. I have seen it used in sugar and cookies. I would love to taste the wine.

    • Ariana Mullins June 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      Oh, what a shame! If you have just a few, you can of course do the tea, and I recently saw a recipe for flavoring honey with lilac petals– I’m sure the taste would be similar to the scent you love.

  7. MandaBurms May 31, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Being a lilac lover I just have to remember this for our Spring/summer this year.

    • Ariana Mullins June 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      Yes, I hope you’ll join us in making the wine! I start this week, and will post on the process soon!

  8. Linda Bouffard May 31, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    I’m in. I made dandelion wine and lilac wine sounds like an unusual thing to make. (Why do I like to do the unusual?) I’m subscribing so I won’t miss that post. Best wishes, Linda Plese link to my party What to do Weekends.

    • Ariana Mullins June 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

      So glad you’re in, Linda. It should be fun. I made dandelion wine recently, and will be posting on that soon! And I will link up now…

  9. Miriam September 1, 2013 at 1:05 am #

    Just reading this via a Pinterest link…wondering if you have made this wine yet? Eager to know how you did it!

  10. Jessica June 10, 2015 at 3:10 am #

    I have been freezing lilac blossoms as I pick them but I noticed today that the blossoms are turning brown. When you look at the freezer bag they all look purple, but the blossoms in the middle of the bag are the ones turning brown. Is this going to effect the flavor or the wine and jelly that I want to make? Do you have any suggestions to keep them from turning brown? Thanks

    • ariana June 10, 2015 at 8:06 am #

      Hi Jessica,
      I don’t think this will affect the flavor, but it could diminish the color of the jelly. Mine also turned brown somewhat, but I didn’t really worry about it. If you want to try to get the best color for your jelly, I would just make a batch right after your next flower harvest, then keep the freezer ones for wine.


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