Forsythia is one of my most favorite early blooming spring flowers. In fact, it has gained popularity in gardens specifically because it's often one of the first flowers to pop in the spring. It’s such a sight to see those joyful yellow flowers after a long winter. Fittingly so, the sentiment of anticipation is associated with forsythia. Folklore says we should expect three more snowfalls after their initial bloom, which after a long, hard winter, the thought of more snow makes me batty. But as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait, and the anticipation of spring is worth it. Even if we have a bit more winter to trudge through!
Forsythia is one of the 63 flowers featured in my forthcoming book, The Flower-Infused Cocktail. But because of its early bloom time, I began to feel bad that you'd have to wait an entire year to take advantage of their sweet honey-like scent! So, I'm TODAY sharing with you the recipe to make your own Forsythia Honey Liqueur so that you can enjoy it all spring long, and so that you're ready to mix the cocktail from my book when it comes out this summer! The secret to coaxing out the sweet fragrance of forsythia flowers is allowing them to wilt slightly. A few hours and even overnight is the perfect amount of time for them to release their beautiful scent.
FORSYTHIA HONEY LIQUEUR
1 1/2 cups vodka
10 cups of forsythia blossoms, divided
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1-inch piece of orange peel, pith removed
1 cinnamon stick
Remove the forsythia blossoms from the stem and give them a good shake to remove any bugs or debris. Allow them to wilt slightly, coaxing out their sweet fragrance. Add 4 cups of blossoms to the vodka, making sure that they’re fully submerged in the liquid. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the flowers from the vodka. Add 4 more cups of flowers to the vodka and return to the fridge and allow to infuse again overnight. Pour the forsythia-infused vodka through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter to strain out any leftover debris.
Over medium-low heat, cook the honey, water, orange peel, clove, and cinnamon until it is combined, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups of forsythia flowers and steep for 5 minutes. Cool completely.
Once the syrup has cooled, remove the solids, reserving the infused honey. Then combine the forsythia-infused honey syrup and forsythia-infused vodka in a sealable glass bottle and shake. For best flavor, allow the liqueur to rest for a minimum of 12 hours. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
My favorite spirits to enjoy this with are gin and tequila! Cheers!