Making Elderflower Syrup

 As elderflowers are so abundant I have made this recipe for a large amount of flowers – you can always half it.

The flowers are best when open but not starting to ‘go over’ – the scent is wonderful and heady at this time so try to capture this by making the syrup straight after picking.

Citric acid and lemon – both of these help preserve the syrup, the more you use the tarter it becomes, but the longer it lasts. The trick is to get the perfect balance of sugar and citric acid without destroying the delicate elderflower taste.



 Large bowl (or use 2)

Large pan


Old bottles – or jars


One large basket of flowers (see picture) this is about 60 heads.

5 unwaxed lemons

3 litres of water

2.5 kgs sugar (castor or granulated)

125 grms citric acid

basket of elderflowers


  1. Shake out any bugs from the flowers and put them in a large bowl (or in several bowls if too many!)
  2. Zest the lemons, then slice them – and add to the flowers.
  3. Meanwhile fill a large pan with half the water and add all the sugar. Heat till all the sugar is dissolved, stirring all the time.
  4. Pour this sugar syrup over the flowers and lemons, and add the rest of the water .
  5. Sprinkle over the citric acid and STIR well.
  6. Leave over night so the elderflower flavour and goodness can seep out.
  7. Then strain through a sieve lined with muslin (or similar cloth)
  8. Pour in to clean, sterilised bottles or jam jars (sterilise in the dishwasher, or hand wash and put in the oven to heat & dry)
  9. ENJOY!  Last year we were still drinking ours at Easter.


elderflowers and lemon                            elderflower syrup 

Forgot to say - this batch is with GOLDEN castor sugar, hence the colour. .