Explore Uncommon Floral Drink Flavors: Lilac, Rose & Lavender

Learn About The Enchanting Floral Flavors of Real Lavender, Roses, or Lilac Blossoms!

The flowers are in bloom, the weather is heating up, and it's time to unleash some of the most delicious floral beverage flavors! Floral and herbal flavoring notes are popular in many hot beverages, and even Starbucks has released a lavender matcha hot latte. But what about flowery notes in cold beverages like tea, cocktails, or lemonade? 

Yes indeed, fresh-cut flowery flavors like rose, lavender, and lilac can wonderfully complement an array of cold drinks, including iced teas and lemonades! From lilac and lavender simple syrups to real rose petals in your fresh-brewed iced peach tea, there are plenty of ways to make unforgettable floral beverages for Sunday brunch, Springtime weddings, or simply to enjoy at home on a lazy summer afternoon. 

Below, we will walk you through some of the best lilac, rose, and lavender syrups and floral beverage ideas to try making at home! 

What to Know Floral Flavors: Lilac, Lavender, and Rose

So how can you get these flavors just right in your beverages? After all, you want to have enough lilac, rose, or lavender flavor that the floral notes are easily detectable, without going overboard. The easiest way to do this is by using a pre-made flower simple syrup. 

An Iced Lavender Latte with Fresh Coffee Beans

Tips for Using Pre-Sweetened Floral Simple Syrups 

You can purchase lavender, lilac, and rose-flavored simple syrups online. These pre-sweetened floral syrups are a fantastic option for those who want the flavors of fresh cut flowers without all of the extra work. However, did you know that you can also make your own floral simple syrups at home? DIY blossom-flavored simple syrups do take a little bit of practice to make. Nevertheless, once you get a knack for things, you can become a floral simple syrup expert! Here are a few flowery simple syrup recipes to check out...

1. Lilac Simple Syrup DIY Recipe

Author’s Note: I’ve personally tried out this recipe and my results were passable. The color of the syrup is brownish gold, which isn’t what most would imagine from purple lilac blossoms. The scent notes are there, but to really get that full-flavored lilac impact in tea or lemonade, I recommend also adding fresh (cold water cleaned) blooms as a garnish before serving a cold beverage. 


  • 4 cups fresh lilac florets (or more if you are going to use a garnish)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water

Follow the above link for full directions!

2. DIY Lavender Simple Syrup Recipe

This lavender syrup is created with fresh lavender blossoms, steeped with sugar and water. This can create a sweet, aromatic floral syrup for flavoring things like ice tea, cocktails, lemonade, and more. 


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lavender blossoms

Follow the above link for full directions!

This lavender tincture is made similarly to how simple syrup is prepared, minus the sugar. Instead, oils are added. 

3. DIY Rose Simple Syrup Recipe

Rose simple syrup, like lavender, has a floral taste, and all you need to make it is sugar, water, and food-grade dried rose petals! 


  • Water
  • White sugar
  • Food-grade dried rose petals

Follow the above link for full directions!

Fresh-Cut Blooms Can be Washed and Steeped in Various Drinks

You can also capture the flavors of fresh fresh-cut (and washed) roses, lavender blooms, and lilac flowers by steeping blossoms or using them as a garnish! In fact, lilac lemonades and teas with fresh-cut and washed lilac blossoms are an amazing choice for weddings! And yes, lilac blossoms are 100% edible! They can also be steeped in sun tea, iced tea, or freshly squeezed lemonade. Fresh-cut edible flowers can also make a fantastic garnish, adding a delicately floral aroma and an upper-echelon aesthetic. 

Edible flowers add color and trace minerals with an abundance of creative culinary uses like this pansy garden salad!

Here is a list of edible flowers for garnishes, drinks, cooking, or other culinary uses! 

  • Carnation 
  • Hibiscus 
  • Lilac 
  • Lavender 
  • Rose
  • Dandelion 
  • Pansies 
  • Violets 
  • Clover Blossom 
  • Basil 
  • Begonia 
  • Bergamot 
  • Chamomile 
  • Chives
  • Chicory (This flavor is sometimes found in New Orleans coffee)
  • Cornflower
  • Dill 
  • Elderflower
  • Pea Flower
  • Marigold
  • Sage 
  • Squash 
  • Sunflower

Floral Flavors FAQs: Using Food-Grade Roses, Lilacs, and Lavender Blossoms 

Now, let's go over some common questions about using rose, lavender, or lilacs when cooking, garnishing, or crafting beverages. 

Why are floral-flavored drinks so rare? 

Although these flavors can be enchanting and exquisite, they can also be hard to find on your everyday drink menu. There are a few reasons for this. 

  • Floral tones get lost easily in beverages and foods. 

For one thing, floral flavor notes like lavender, rose, or lilac can be difficult to detect in cold drinks. Floral nuances are incredibly subtle and can easily be masked by Citrus flavors, alcohol, or even the herbal notes of tea leaves. This is one reason that you don’t see the flavors used very often. However, when implemented correctly at a detectable strength, the results are heavenly. 

  • Flowery flavors can get overwhelming

Since flowery blossom flavors can be hard to detect in drinks, sometimes, people go a little overboard. Ergo, they end up adding way too much flavoring syrup, which can create an artificial aftertaste on a drink that some liken to perfume or soap. 

Balance is Everything 

When flavoring a beverage with florals like rose, lilac, or lavender, remember to complement these nuances with other ingredients that work within a floral profile. For example, honey is a fantastic sweetener to use if you want to bring out the floral Taste of lilac or Lavender in a drink. 

How to make lilac tea? 

Lilac teas and lemonade can be made in many ways. Here are some options to consider: 

- Add lilac simple syrup to regular black tea,

- Add fresh lilac blossoms to iced tea as it steeps, 

- Garnish hot or iced tea with fresh cut and rinsed lilac blossoms

- Purchase lilac-flavored herbal tea  

- Dry lilac blossoms and add them to herbal tea like chamomile or Ceylon Supreme Flowery Orange Pekoe Tea

How to make lilac lemonade? 

State Fair Lemonade Recipe with Lilacs Added In

To make the best lilac lemonade, I recommend first making this state fair lemonade recipe but with two adjustments. As you are preparing the lemon peels and sugar, add some rinsed fresh-cut lilac blossoms to the sugar mix. Continue the recipe as written. Then, the night before serving, add fresh lilac blossoms to steep in your lemonade, and finally, garnish each glass with a fresh lilac blossom. Lilac blossoms are an amazing garnish when fresh!

This YouTube video covers the recipe pretty comprehensively: 


What is the difference between lilac and lavender? 

Lilac flowers and lavender blossoms are often confused with one another. Both are fragrant and associated with a soft purple tone. However, while these plants have similar colors and hues in their blooms, lavender colors are warmer while lilac clusters tend to have cooler tones. The scent of these flowers is also very different. 

Additionally, lilac is in the genus Syringa with fragrant clusters of pale purple flowers while Lavender is an aromatic plant in the genus Levandula. Lilacs are large bushy plants with clusters of very fresh, floral-toned flowers. In contrast, lavender is a smaller plant with soft needle-like leaves and an earthier, herbal fragrance. 

Lavender VS Lilac

What drinks go best with lavender? 

Lavender can be great with lemonade, iced tea, margaritas, or even hot lattes! Lavender and matcha go together well with honey and coffee too. In a hot latte, the floral taste of lavender is enhanced nicely by the bitterness of coffee, the sweetness of honey, and the creaminess of milk. 

Floral Flavor Guide: Final Thoughts and Considerations 

So there you have it! Now you have some great ideas for using lilac, rose, and lavender flavors in your next batch of freshly prepared iced tea or homemade lemonade. 

A Few Last Tips:

  • Remember, when using florals to flavor a beverage, balance is everything. 
  • For the best flavor nuances and scent notes, consider using a floral simple syrup as well as garnishing your beverage with fresh-cut blossoms. 
  • Using honey as a sweetener is a smart way to enhance the floral notes in a drink.
  • Don't forget, for the best hot and iced tea recipes, you should always use a premium loose-leaf tea like the ones sold at OneGreatCoffee.Com

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