This elderflower syrup recipe makes a sweet floral base for creating delicious drinks and desserts. Make this recipe for a taste of summer!
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Delicately floral and citrusy, elderflower syrup is perfect for making a cordial, an elderflower syrup cocktail, baked goods, and more! While you can buy it at specialty food and natural food stores, why would you if you can make it yourself!? It’s fun to make with this easy elderflower syrup recipe. And, it’s nice to have on hand whenever you want to use it in your favourite recipes and drinks.
This floral syrup is more common in Europe than in North America. In Germany it’s called Holunderblütensirup or Holundersirup. In Romania, where we live, it’s known by several names: Sirop de Soc, Suc de Soc, and even Socata when it’s been fermented. Whatever you call it, if you’ve ever wanted to bottle summer to enjoy year-round, this is the recipe for you!
In the late spring/early summer it’s an absolute staple you’ll find in so many European kitchens. I’ve been making it myself since we moved here, and I’m thrilled to be sharing this recipe with you today! Since moving from Canada to Eastern Europe 4 years ago I’ve had the privilege of being introduced to a myriad of new foods and drinks. Here in Romania, Sirop de Soc or Elderflower Syrup is a very popular drink syrup made from brewing lemons and elderflower blossoms in a homemade simple syrup.
What is Elderflower?
Elderflowers are the fragrant, tiny, star-shaped white flowers that grow on Elder trees and bushes. They grow wild throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
However, it’s also possible to cultivate them in your own backyard! If you don’t like foraging, consider planting a few cuttings — they’re also beautiful landscape plants. Elder cuttings are available to purchase online and at many plant nurseries.
And, while fresh flowers aren’t always available everywhere, dried elderflower is easy to find online.
Used in traditional medicine for centuries, these delicate little flowers also have high culinary value.
What Does Elderflower Taste Like?
These beautiful blooms have a delicate floral taste with a hint of fruity citrus. Many people say they taste like summer!
However, don’t eat them raw! In their raw state the flowers (and resulting berries) are slightly toxic. On the other hand, cooking or preserving them neutralizes the toxicity.
The leaves, bark, and stems of the plant are also toxic and should not be consumed. When preparing the flowers for this recipe, cut as much of the stem away from the large cluster of flowers as possible.
How To Gather Elderflowers
If you’re lucky enough to have these shrubs growing wild in your area (or garden) you can gather your own fresh flowers.
If the elderberry shrubs you want to harvest blossoms from are on public land, ask someone if foraging is allowed.
Elders often grow on the side of the road. Consequently, those flowers are usually near exhaust fumes. It’s best to harvest elderflowers from an area away from vehicle traffic.
Only take a few bunches from each shrub. This ensures plenty of berries will form later on in the summer.
Look for recently opened blooms that are fresh and white or creamy white in colour. Also, avoid blooms with browning edges.
Using scissors or gardening snips, cut the stem of the blossom bunch just below where it meets the main stem. After that, inspect for insects or debris and give a gentle shake to dislodge any that may be in the flowers.
Finally, don’t wash or rinse the flowers. This removes the pollen (and most of the flavour).
Elderflower Syrup Recipe
While it’s a simple process, making the syrup will take a couple of days, so plan ahead.
How To Make Elderflower Syrup
- Create a simple syrup. First, make a simple syrup of sugar, water, citric acid, and lemons.
- Add sugar syrup to flowers. Next, pour the hot syrup over elderflower blossoms. Stir well to combine.
- Steep the mixture. Cover and let the mixture sit for 48 hours. Meanwhile, stir the mixture a couple of times each day.
- Strain and bottle the syrup. Finally, strain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.
The result? A beautiful, clear, yellowish syrup ready to use in your favourite recipes.
This elderflower syrup recipe can also be preserved for longer shelf life. Just follow safe and proper canning procedures. Store unopened bottles of syrup in a cool, dark place.
Preserving this way ensures the syrup remains shelf-stable for up to 1 year. Once opened, store in the refrigerator and consume within 2 weeks.
Uses for Elderflower Syrup
This simple elderflower syrup recipe is a lovely and welcome addition to many drinks and other treats. From beverages to baking, here are a few ways to use it!
- Add to sparkling water for a sweetened, fizzy drink or cordial
- Combine with Prosecco or champagne for an elegant party drink
- Sweeten hot or iced tea with it
- Give a floral boost to fresh lemonade
- Infuse a lovely floral flavor into whipped cream or buttercream frosting
- Use in muffins, scones, cakes, etc.
- Make ice pops for hot summer days
- Add floral notes to ice cream
Anywhere you’d like the floral flavor of summer is perfect for using this easy elderflower syrup. Keep it on hand to enjoy the taste of summer year round or give as a thoughtful gift to family and friends.
I like to serve pretty summer beverages like this in these stemless wine glasses (in the photo below) because they’re just so classy and beautiful (affiliate link)! And they’re pretty inexpensive too!
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I hope you love this elderflower syrup recipe as much as we do!
Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite homemade drink for summer? I’d love to know!
Kitchen Products I Recommend:
Looking for more delicious drinks for summer?
- Healthy 3-Ingredient Lemonade
- Watermelon Green Tea Refresher
- Healthy Strawberry Lemonade
- Healthy Cucumber Lemonade
- Healthy Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino
- Healthy Homemade Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade
- Healthy Homemade Iced Tea
Homemade Elderflower Syrup Recipe
- 2 lemons sliced or cut into chunks
- 15 Elderflower Blossoms rinsed, leaves and stems removed as much as possible
- 1 kilogram granulated sugar (approx. 5 cups)
- 1 liter water (approx. 4 cups)
- 20 grams citric acid (approx. one rounded tablespoon)
- Add the lemon slices and elderflower blossoms to a large heat-safe pot or large jar with a lid that's at least 2 litres (8 cups) in size.
- In a separate pot, add the sugar, water and citric acid and let the mixture come just to a boil (make sure all the sugar has dissolved).
- Pour the sugar syrup slowly over the lemons and elderflower blossoms and stir well to combine.
- Let the mixture come to room temperature and cover with a lid (make sure the lid is airtight, so use plastic wrap if necessary).
- Let the mixture sit for 48 hours, stirring a couple of times each day.
- After 48 hours, strain the mixture through a strainer and cheesecloth to remove any impurities. You'll be left with a clean-looking syrup that's slightly yellow in colour.
- Add this syrup to a pot and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down so the mixture sits at a low boil for about 10 minutes.
- Add the hot syrup to prepared jars or bottles for canning (this syrup is shelf-stable if proper canning procedures are followed), or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months.
- Mix with still or sparkling water at a syrup to water ratio of 1:8 (about 1/2 cup/120 ml of syrup for every 4 cups/1 litre of water)