Take advantage of the fleeting lilac season, and experiment with this Fermented Honey Lilac Drink. It’s light, fizzy and may help you combat allergy season too!
Spring: It’s either the most beautiful time of year, or, it’s the most oppressive time of year. It all depends on how your body processes pollen, fresh-cut grass and the like. I love when the trees rain down flowers over the park, the alluring scent of honeysuckle, and the strong scent of lilacs takes me back to my college campus, but the Rustbelt Farmer’s love of all things green is a bittersweet.
This time of year, his eyes are dry and itchy, his nose is reindeer red and he’s generally uncomfortable. His go-to natural remedies are stinging nettle tea, Pooh-bear quantities of honey and apple cider vinegar. Wanting to take advantage of Lilac season and to offer him a little relief, I experimented with this Fermented Honey Lilac Drink.
There’s some debate as to the efficacy of honey for allergy relief, but the theory is, if you’re allergic to seasonal pollen, tiny doses of this pollen, through the hardworking honey bees, helps train your body not to sneeze, cry and itch every time it comes in contact with these flowers. The key though, is to source a raw, local honey that has been harvested in the same season as your allergies. Honey is typically harvested in the fall and spring, so hit your farmer’s market and get that fresh, spring honey for this recipe.
If allergies aren’t a problem, this Fermented Honey Lilac Drink is still a worthwhile experiment. According to Dr. Axe, fermented drinks like kombucha and this recipe “improve digestion, help with weight loss, increases energy, detox the body, support the immune system, reduces joint pain and prevent cancer.”
Plus, this Fermented Lilac Honey Drink tastes like a light beer, making it an enjoyable spring and summer sipper, and if you’re skeptical about drinking lilacs, don’t worry. The floral notes are light and subtle.
Disclaimer: Be sure to use lilacs and not hyacinths in this recipe, and make you sure you always research flowers before adding them to food and drink recipes, since many flowers pose significant health risks.
Fermented Honey Lilac Drink
Recipe adapted from Hello Glow
8 cups purified water
3 tablespoons organic raw spring-harvested honey
1/4 teaspoon active yeast, optional
2 fresh lilac inflorescences, rinsed
3 organic lemons, juiced
1 organic grapefruit, juiced
Combine all the ingredients in a large glass jar. Cover the jar without tightening it, and place the jar on the kitchen countertop or outside in the sun.
Let the mixture sit and ferment for at least 48 hours, stirring at least once a day. Strain and transfer the liquid to glass bottles. Store in the refrigerator.
Serve this drink chilled, with lemon slices and fresh lilac petals and a side of summery cakes. Or experiment using this concoction as a mixer in cocktails. Let us know what you come up with.