Elderflower blossoms bring a unique floral flavor to this simple syrup, that's delicious in elderflower cocktails and mocktails.
Simple syrups are my absolute favorite thing to make. The possibilities are endless. You can add fresh herbs, warming spices, fruits, you name it. Try this rosemary simple syrup, sage syrup, or cinnamon simple syrup!
This elderflower syrup is different to elderflower cordial. It is much sweeter and there is less acid in the mixture than there would be with cordial.
Cordial has a lot more lemon juice and sometimes citric acid in there too. This helps the cordial to store longer. If you make elderflower cordial, you can use this in place of simple syrup too, it will be more acidic and less sweet.
A basic simple syrup
A classic simple syrup is exactly what it sounds like - Simple, and it's a syrup. It's a mixture of sugar and water, and sometimes the addition of other flavorings.
The ratio of sugar to water in simple syrup is equal part water and sugar.
Most often this is measured in volume - 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water. Volume is less consistent than measuring in weight (there is 40g more water than sugar in a cup), but it doesn't make much difference in a recipe like this.
In this rich simple syrup, there are of course fresh elderflower blossoms and the addition of lemon. Elderflowers are very delicate in flavor so a little acidity helps bring this out more.
Elderflower bushes only bloom for a short period of time, usually in late spring and early summer. The creamy white florets should have a gentle, sweet floral scent. Harvest the whole flower heads on a dry day, in the morning if possible.
To clean the fresh flowers, shake the heads of the blooms to remove any bugs. If there are still lots clinging to the flowers, swirl the flower heads in cool water to remove them.
With elderflowers, the majority of the elder tree is toxic except for the flowers on the elderflower heads, and the berries when they are completely ripe and cooked.
For this reason, you will want to snip off as many of the stems as possible. Use kitchen scissors to snip off the flowers and collect them in a large bowl or on a clean tea towel.
Here is a rundown of what you will need for this homemade elderflower syrup recipe.
- Granulated sugar. This recipe uses white sugar. The type of sugar could be changed to brown sugar or raw sugar too but this will bring more color to the syrup and a hint of molasses flavor.
- Fresh elder flowers, or dried flowers.
- Fresh lemon- The lemon juice and lemon zest enhance the elderflower flavor. I've used Meyer lemon but you can use any variety.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Clean the elderflowers and snip off as much of the stems of the plant as possible. A few small stems left are fine. Place the collected flowers in a large clean jar.
In a large saucepan combine sugar, lemon juice, peel and cold water. Place it over medium-high heat. Let it come to a gentle boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Once the sugar has dissolved, carefully and slowly pour it over the flowers. You don't want to pour hot syrup into a cold jar too quickly or it can break. Once the syrup has cooled, cover the jar.
Let the mixture steep and infuse at room temperature for the next 24 hours.
Pour the syrup through a cheesecloth, muslin cloth or coffee filter to strain out the flowers and any little bugs that were remaining.
Pour it into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.
More simple syrup recipes
Simple syrups can be made with all sorts of ingredients! Here are more flavorful syrup ideas.
- Blueberry simple syrup
- Raspberry simple syrup
- Sage simple syrup
- Strawberry basil syrup
- Cherry simple syrup
- Rosemary simple syrup
Ways to use elderflower simple syrup
- Create delicious drinks! Like an elderflower gin cocktail or use this sweet syrup in mocktail recipes.
- Simple syrup can also be used to brush on cake layers to keep them moist.
Store the syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, it can be frozen for up to 3 months.
If you freeze it in ice cube trays, you can make elderflower flavored ice cubes to add to soda water.
- 3 cups (720g) water
- 3 cups (600g) granulated sugar
- 10-12 elderflower heads
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Peel of 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- Clean the elderflowers. Shake the heads of the blossoms to remove any bugs. If still lots clinging to the flowers, swirl the flower heads in cool water to remove them.
- Remove the flowers, removing as much of the stems as possible. Place the collected flowers in a large clean jar.
- Combine sugar, lemon juice, peel, and cold water in a large saucepan. Place it over medium-high heat. Let it come to a gentle boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Carefully and slowly pour the sugar over the flowers Once the sugar has dissolved. You don't want to pour hot syrup into a cold jar too quickly, or it can break. Once the syrup has cooled, cover the jar.
- Let the mixture steep and infuse at room temperature for 24 hours.
- Pour the syrup through a cheesecloth, muslin cloth, or coffee filter to strain out the flowers and any remaining little bugs.
- Pour it into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or freeze it for long-term storage.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 10Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 0g