Learn how to make elderflower syrup and the best ways to use it. Elderflower syrup is a sweet, gorgeous floral flavoring that is perfect for baking, cocktails, lemonade, and so much more! Even if you're not a fan of floral flavors, you will love elderflower !
What is elderflower syrup
Elderflower syrup is a think and sweet homemade syrup that's often used to flavor drinks and baked goods in the summer.
Simple syrup is generally found in two strengths: Equal parts sugar and water, the most common strength in U.S. bars, is referred to as “one-to-one” (1:1). Two parts sugar to one part water is, as you might guess, referred to as 2:1, which is the standard syrup in U.K. bars; in the States, you’ll often hear 2:1 syrup being referred to as “rich simple syrup.” Elderflower syrup is a simple syrup that's made with freshly bloomed or preserved elderflowers.
How to forage and harvest elderflower
Elderflower grows wild in temperate regions. Depending upon where you live, elderflowers are at their peak in late spring to early summer. In most regions, mid-June seems to be the best time for picking. If left to their own devices, the flowers will turn into delicious dark purple berries around August, which must be cooked to remove cyanidin glycoside. This chemical has been known to make people sick.
The flowers are useful as a syrup, nutritional supplement and in cosmetics. The first step is learning how to harvest elderflowers.
Take a pair of sharp scissors and remove flower heads just below where all the small stems meet the main stem – you want as little of the green stem in your recipes as possible. but the flavor is best if you use freshly picked flowers. Harvest the whole flower heads when the creamy white florets have just recently opened.
Elderflower harvest only happens once per year, so it is important to properly preserve these useful and delicious flowers right at the time of picking.
How to use elderflower syrup
How to use elderflower syrup in baking, cocktails, iced beverages - and anywhere you desire to add some sweet floral flavor.
Where to buy elderflower syrup
If you don't have access to fresh or dried elderflowers, you can find some for sale!
How long does elderflower last and how do I know if it's spoiled?
Sugar is used in cooking as a preservative— think jams and jellies, which are also called preserves. So simple syrups have a decent shelf life, when prepared and stored properly: made with very hot water and stored in a sterile container in the refrigerator. A 1:1 simple syrup like this one lasts only one month when refrigerated.
how to store elderflower simple syrup
The recommended way to store elderflower simple syrup is to use an airtight container that’s been sterilized.