elderflower syrup

It’s that time of the year again where there are elderberry bushes in bloom at every corner. These bushes (or sometimes trees) grow wild pretty much everywhere around here and it always amazes me that hardly anyone knows what they are or “uses” them.

I made elderberry syrup two years ago but found that we didn’t use the rich syrup very often. So this year I wanted to try the lighter version – syrup from the flowers to add to cold drinks.
Making elderflower syrup is very easy, as attested by the fact that I made it between working late and hurrying off to yoga class on a monday evening.

You’ll need a couple (maybe 20-30 at max) elderflower heads, lemons (I used three), sugar and plain water.
I think everyone makes their syrup differently, but here’s how I did it: I stripped the flowers off the plant as well as I could, placed them in a pot and covered them with water. It’s important not to wash the flowers before or you’ll lose the pollen that makes the syrup so yummy.

I left the flowers to soak in the water overnight (this also gives the creepy crawlies time to escape) and then strained the now bright-yellow water through a coarse sieve first and through cheesecloth afterwards. Somewhere in between I added the juice from the three lemons

Now you could use that water to make the syrup right away but I didn’t want to boil it long in case it lost flavour. So instead I boiled down 1 litre of plain water with about 1.5-2kg sugar until it thickened into a nice sticky syrup, then added the elderflower water and brought the mixture back to the boil for a short time.
Now all that’s left is fill the hot syrup into canning jars and bottles (I usually give them a spin in the dishwasher first or, as in this case, sterilize them in boiling water). And you’re done!

The syrup is very sweet and the flavour is heavenly. Add to ice water on a hot day and enjoy.


7 thoughts on “elderflower syrup

  1. julochka

    i’m making loads of elderflower cordial right now too. tho’ i have to remind myself to leave some for elderberry cordial in the autumn – that’s so heavenly warm on a cold autumn day. but elderflower, that just smells of early summer and it’s like sunshine in a bottle. mine turns out darker than yours because our organic sugar is so dark. and i don’t hesitate to boil all of it, it doesn’t spoil the taste and it will help it keep through the long winter. i’ve got two batches on the go and i’ve also stuffed some in a bottle and poured vodka over them to make a fragrant, summery vodka as well.

    i’m jealous you had sunshine in your elderflower photo – i feel like we haven’t seen it in weeks! it’s another cold summer in scandinavia!


    1. Kristina

      Thanks Julie, I’m looking forward to seeing your post on it! Sunshine in a bottle… that sounds so nice :)) Good to know the taste doesn’t get spoiled by boiling it. I’ve read different accounts on that. I’m not worried about it spoiling though…it did boil for a short time and the amount of sugar in it will help too.
      Sorry you’re having such weather. Ours has been very varied…sunshine one day, heavy showers the next. And colder than usual for june, which I don’t mind so much.
      I’m hoping the good weather wins, as I’ll be near the danish border for a summer party soon, complete with band and a huge fire 🙂


    1. Kristina

      It’s funny you don’t have them, here they literally grow all over the country! The woods are full of them and they grow beside the roads too.


  2. Pingback: A weekend of good things «

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s