Homemade Elderflower Syrup is a fantastic way to bring sweetness and some floral scents to your drink. It is easy to make. -Even though you need a little more time than you do for syrup made from fruit, like, for instance, passion fruit syrup or fig syrup. But it is absolutely worth it, so try out our recipe for the perfect Elderflower syrup.
Elderflowers for your syrup
First, you can use fresh and dried elderflowers for your syrup. But only fresh blossoms will really bring the elegant floral notes you're looking for. Therefore, first, check where you can get fresh elderflowers. I highly recommend making the effort only with fresh flowers.
Where I live, you can find them in almost every wooded area and often on roadsides (I recommend not to use flowers growing near busy roads). And also in the garden of some neighbors, where we can steal them. But I don't know your neighbors - better ask first. So, if they don't grow wild anywhere near you, check online. Some stores sell them freshly cut.
And when you can find them in nature, only get the flowers. Not the elderberries. You will only need the white umbels for the syrup. Plus, please remember that the berries are poisonous when consumed raw.
Elderflower season usually is from late spring to early-mid summer.
How to make Elderflower Syrup
All you need for the syrup is elderflowers, lemon, citric acid, sugar, water, a 1.5-gallon bucket, a clean muslin cloth, and a little patience.
To clean the elderflowers, shake them gently. But don't wash them because they could lose part of their flavor. And if some of the flowers still have leaves or long stems, cut those off.
Cut the lemon into slices and put the flowers, the citric acid, and the lemon into the bucket. Add one gallon of water, cover the bucket with the cloth, and let everything sit for 24 hours.
Then you can add the sugar, give the mixture a good stir, and let it steep for another 24 hours.
After two days, strain your syrup-to-be through the cloth or kitchen towel into a large pot. Bring the mix to a boil. Once the syrup cooks, you can reduce the heat and let everything simmer away for 20 - 30 minutes until it becomes a slightly thicker consistency. Now strain your syrup into a sealable container.
Cocktail Ideas with Elderflower Syrup
In Europe, Elderflower Syrup is a common addition to sparkling wine. You just add 0.5oz to a champagne flute and top it off with bubbly.
Elderflower also goes extremely well with Gin. So you could create an Elderflower Gimlet: Just replace the simple syrup in the classic Gin Gimlet recipe by elderflower. By that, you bring a delightful floral note to the cocktail. And you can also use the umbels as a pretty flower garnish for the cocktail.
Mint is another ingredient that works brilliantly with elderflower. Hence, you can apply the same principle to the Southside Cocktail. Replace the rich simple syrup from the original recipe with your homemade Elderflower Syrup.
Or how about adding elderflower to a Mint Julep? That's a more adventurous combination of Bourbon and elderflower. Just replace the powdered sugar with a splash of homemade elderflower syrup.
- 1 1-gallon bucket
- 1 muslin cloth
- 1 cup
- 1 large pot
- 35 oz water
- 35 oz sugar
- 1 lemon
- ¾ oz citric acid
- 20 elderflower umbels
- Cut off leaves and long stems of the elderflowers and shake them gently to free them of pollen or other residues.
- Slice the lemon.
- Add lemon, citric acid, the elderflower umbels, and water into your bucket. Cover the bucket with the muslin cloth and let everything sit for 24h.
- After 24h, add the sugar. Then cover the bucket again, give the mixture a good stir, and let it steep for another 24h.
- Remove the muslin cloth and use it as a fine sieve for straining your mixture into a large pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until it starts thickening.
- Finally, let the syrup cool down and fill it into an airtight sealable container. The syrup should be good for at least four weeks when stored in a dark, cool place. Usually, though, the shelf life of this syrup is way longer.