If you've ever caught the unmistakable scent of honeysuckle wafting in on a breezy summer evening and thought- I wish I could capture that and eat it- this recipe is for you! Inspired by a dish from Bill Smith at the famous Crook's Corner restaurant in North Carolina, it's surprisingly easy to make, if a bit time-consuming to collect all those honeysuckle flowers. Be sure to pick flowers that are fragrant and fully opened. The cold water infusion mixed with simple syrup would also be excellent in sodas or cocktails.
- 5 cups honeysuckle flowers
- 5 cups cold water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2-3 mint leaves
- 1 pinch spicebush berry powder (sub cinnamon)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Gather honeysuckle flowers when they are fully open and fragrant (late afternoon or evening is when we do it).
- Place the flowers in a large bowl, taking care to discard any leaves and stems. Cover with the cold water and weigh down the flowers with a plate. Let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours.
- Pour the infusion through a strainer to extract the scented water, pressing down gently on the flowers with your hands to get all of the liquid.
- Heat the 1 cup of water and 2 cups sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice, mint leaves and pinch of spicebush powder to the syrup and let boil for 4-5 minutes to form a syrup.
- Let the syrup cool completely and remove the mint leaves. Add to the honeysuckle-infused water and churn in an ice-cream maker for about 20 minutes. This recipe makes about 1 quart, which can be kept in the freezer for up to a week (its flavor will diminish after that).