More Science

Back in May (before the earth went hurtling into the sun and it scorched us all with its searing blinding death rays), I told you guys about my sage plants and the delicious syrup we made from their flowers.  In the meantime, we’ve made another batch or two of syrup and had many a happy glass of lemonade.  Then somewhere along the way, the world exploded in a ball of scorching fire, we were stunned into neglect by the desperate heat, and our sage plants got a bit…um…tired.  So for the moment, there are no more sage flowers.

However, if you look one garden bed over, there are (despite our criminal lack of garden care) rather a lot of lavender blossoms.  I made the executive decision that we could try the experiment with lavender instead of sage (supplemented with some lavender from the spice drawer so I didn’t have to steal too much from the plant).  That pink stuff at the front is bee balm…I have plans for experimenting with that too, but it’s new this year so I want to let it get a bit more established before I go pillaging from it.

I followed the same procedure as before.  Make a very thick simple syrup (I used about 3 cups of sugar to 2 cups of water).  Bring it to a boil.  Toss in the plants.  Let the heat go for about 30 seconds.  Turn the heat off and let it steep for an hour or two.  Strain.

I was absolutely delighted to find that the syrup was a lovely deep purple.  Like grape soda purple.  I was expecting brown or maybe golden.  Maybe even green.  But no…seriously perfectly purple.  I, alas, did not manage to get a picture (we had people coming over, it was a busy afternoon).

But of course, given what happened last time (golden sage syrup + golden lemon juice = pink final product), I was just itching to see what would happen when I added the lemon/lime juice.  I was not disappointed.  Once again, pink.

There’s obviously something cool going on here.  Anybody out there a chemist?  I really want to know why lemon/lime juice seems to turn flower syrups pink.  Somebody has to know.  Come over and we can discuss it over very tasty lemonade.