Wild Mallow (Malva sylvestris) is one of my personal favorites. Its beautiful, from pink to purple colorings make the flower heads a wonderful addition to salads, drinks and other dishes.
This plant is special when it comes to chemical reactions. Now from what I have learned so far, the mucilage, so the beneficial slimy compounds, are destroyed when treated with heat. Therefore, a cold infusion seems to be the way to go. This cold infusion turns blue. Even though I read all this, I decided to make the syrup in the classical way, heating the mallow in the sugar syrup. And that turned green. Which was very surprising to say the least. However, after asking around, I figured out that adding lemon turns it a bright pink. And, as I was straining the flower heads out, I noticed how slimy they still were - so I suppose that's all good.
While this plant's looks and what it does to water may be mesmerizing, its benefits cannot be forgotten; due to its slimy structure when in contact with water, it is used in treating dry coughs and helps to form mucus. Additionally, its soothing and softening properties allow for the plant to be used in various skin creams and salves.
What you need
about 5 handfuls of mallow flowers (use the heads)
700 g sugar
700 ml water
about 3 lemons (add more if you like)
What you do
Dissolve the sugar in the water and heat it up.
Add the flowers and let it simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
Take off heat. Now that is the point where you will look at your green mess and feel slightly scared, that's okay. Add the lemons and see the magic.
Stir well and let it steep for about an hour or so.
Optional: add some citric acid to make it last longer. But, adding enough lemon and working with clean and sterilized equipment should do it.
Strain, make sure to press out all the slimey stuff from the flowers, and fill into sterilised glass bottles/jars.
This syrup has a very light and flowery taste, which makes it a perfect companion on hot summer days. Kept in a cool, dark place when unopened and in the fridge once opened, this syrup can last for about six months.