three glass bottles of homemade elderflower cordial

How To Make Elderflower Syrup (Cordial)

Today I want to share how to make elderflower syrup with you. This is for sure one of my favorite homemade recipes. It is very simple and tastes delicious. It also makes for a great gift.

Elder (Sambucus) is one of the plants that grow wild in abundance in the area where I live. Not only is it a beautiful plant to grow in the garden, its different parts can also be used in multiple ways. I have already talked about the natural dyeing qualities of the bark and leaves in this blog post.

elderberry shrub tree in bloom

The elderberries can also be utilized in various ways, including elderberry jelly and juice. I haven’t done this myself yet but I would love to process some elderberries once they are ripe this year.
My friend Anja over at Our Gabled Home has a blogpost about how to make elderberry juice which you can find here. She also wrote a post about homemade elberberry jam.

Alright, back to the elderflower syrup now.

How to Make Elderflower Syrup (Cordial)

two glass bottles of elderflower syrup and a glass with a cocktail containing elderflower syrup

The main ingredient is, of course, elderflowers. I usually pick them early in the morning when they are not yet droopy and worn out by the sun. I make sure to only pick a few umbels from each tree and look for the ones that are free of insects and other pollutants. Besides the umbels you only need a lemon, citric acid, sugar and water.

Ingredients

25elderflower umbels
1lemon
25 g (1/8 cup)citric acid
1000 g (5 cups)sugar
1000 ml (34 oz)water
elderflower umbels and lemons as ingredients for making elderflower cordial

Tools

potto boil the syrup and sterilize the glass bottles
bowl with a lidto keep the syrup in before bottling
sieveto strain off the elderflowers and citrus, to fill the syrup into the bottles
glass bottlesto store the syrup

Instructions

  1. After you have cut the elderflower umbels, they need to be cleaned carefully. You want to make sure not to wash off all the pollen. You can either plunge the umbels in a bowl of water or simply shake them out lightly.
  2. Wash the lemon and cut it into thin slices. Put the elderflower umbels in a large bowl and lay the lemon slices on top.
  3. Mix water, sugar and citric acid in a pot and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for five minutes.
  4. Pour the hot liquid over the elderflowers and lemons. Put the lid on the bowl and let it sit for three days. Gently stir the mixture once per day.
  5. On day three, pour the liquid through a sieve and into a pot to remove the elderflowers and lemon. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil for ten minutes.
  6. Preparing the glass bottles:
    The glass bottles have to be sterilized before bottling the syrup. Put the bottles, lids and rubber bands in a large pot filled with water. Then bring it to a boil and let it boil for ten minutes. In order not to contaminate the sterilized bottles afterwards, only touch them on the outside when taking them out of the pot.
  7. Fill the hot syrup into the bottles and close them up immediately.

The elderflower syrup should be stored in a dark place. Due to its high sugar content, it is stable for at least a year, usually a lot longer. If you open a bottle, you should keep it in the fridge afterwards.

plunging elderflower umbels for cleaning
slices of lemons and elderflower umbels in a large bowl
three glass bottles of homemade elderflower cordial

How to Use Elderflower Syrup

Elderflower syrup tastes delicious in drinks. If you like cocktails, you should definitely try using it to make “Hugo”. You will need a shot of elderflower syrup, sparkling water, sparkling wine, a slice of lemon or lime, a few peppermint leaves and some ice.

For a non-alcoholic version, you can use a dram of elderflower syrup and simply fill it up with plain or sparkling water. Add some ice and you have a refreshing beverage with a sweet flowery taste.

You can also use elderflower syrup to sweeten desserts or to add it to ice cream.

glass of Hugo

Have you made something with elderflowers or elderberries yourself before? Come share in the comments!

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three glass bottles of homemade elderflower cordial

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