Begin by harvesting your lilacs. Ensure the lilacs you choose haven't been sprayed with pesticides and are blooming in a relatively pollution-free environment (for example, harvesting lilacs that grow next to a busy road isn't ideal). Purple lilacs will also work in this recipe, however, the flavour and colour will be slightly more intense.
Trim 4 -6 bushels from the lilac tree or bush.
Remove lilac florets from branches. Wash lilacs thoroughly to remove dust, pollen and bugs.
Add water and honey to a small pot, boiling for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add lilac florets, stirring to combine. Allow the mixture to steep for a minimum of 1 hour, or up to 8 hours for maximum floral flavour.
Once the Japanese Lilac Honey Syrup has steeped, pour it into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer. Transfer to an airtight container and set aside -- it will keep for up to 1 month, refrigerated.
Build your Japanese Lilac Gin Lemonade in a cocktail shaker by adding 8 ice cubes, along with 1.5 oz of each ingredient. Shake vicariously, until cocktail shaker becomes cold.
Strain contents into a tall glass with fresh ice.
Garnish with lilac florets or a slice of lemon and a fun straw.
To make a tall cocktail like the ones pictured here, use 1.5 oz of each ingredient. For a pitcher, use 2 cups!