Homemade Elderflower Syrup
This elderflower syrup recipe with a sweet floral base is perfect for creating delicious drinks and desserts. Elderflower syrup is easy to make, requiring just a few ingredients. Making elderflower syrup brings lots of memories from my childhood.
Spring in Poland means elderflower syrup (I’m happy that I can do the same in the US, where I live). One of the things my family and the neighborhood children used to do was collect elderflower blossoms at the end of May.
Everybody had a bottle of elderflower syrup in their pantry, ready to use.
We added a splash of elderflower syrup to seltzer water and lemonade (my favorite drink when I was a child) and made delicious party drinks.
Elderflower is also available in specialty European stores, but why wouldn’t you want to make it yourself? I love to keep the syrup on hand and use it with my favorite recipes and when I feel under the weather (elderflower syrup has a lot of health benefits).
Elderflower, a tiny blossom with a beautiful floral spring scent, is a source of beneficial ingredients. They are a source of phenolic and organic acids, flavonoids, triterpenes, mineral salts, essential oils, sterols, and tannins. All this means that elderberry flowers have many health-promoting properties due to the content of anthocyanins, triterpenes, and antioxidants. Therefore, it fights free radicals and delays the body’s aging process. Elderflower syrup is beneficial in treating colds, flu, and flu-like conditions. It is worth having it in your home pantry, but you should know how to prepare it safely.
To make elderflower flower syrup is best to pick flowers at the turn of May and June when elderberry blooms fully attract with its fragrance. The place where it grows is also important – it should be away from roads and polluted cities.
Elderflower syrup flowers are best picked on beautiful sunny days, not only because of the joy of picking but above all because of the pollen present on the flowers that contain a wealth of health properties. For this reason, it is not worth picking elderberry flowers after the rain or washing them just before preparing the syrup.
The taste of elderberry syrup is hidden in the fully developed flowers, so no buds or stalks are collected, only the blossoms themselves.
These delicate flowers have been used in traditional medicine for centuries and have high culinary value.
Health benefits of elderberry flowers
Elderflowers are characterized by a high content of various substances with a broad spectrum of activity. The elderflower is rich in flavonoids. It is a group of plant pigments that exhibit strong antioxidant properties. Their main representatives in the raw material are: astragaline, kaempferol, quercetin, isoquertin, rutin, hyperoside and nicotiflorin.
A large group of compounds abundant in elderberry flowers is the triterpenes: alpha-amyrin, beta-amyrin, oleanolic acid, and ursolic acid. These compounds have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Elderberry flowers also contain phytosterols, phenolic acids (caffeic, ferulic, p-coumaric, chlorogenic acids), and essential oil. In trace doses, the elderberry flower contains a variety of tannins, pectin, mucilage, ethylamine, valeric acid, and choline.
Elderberry flower syrup relieves symptoms of colds and flu and it has a diaphoretic effect. It also has an expectorant effect. It supports the treatment of colds by having antibacterial, antiviral, and immunomodulating properties.
WHAT DOES ELDERFLOWER TASTE LIKE?
These delightful blooms have a delicate floral taste with a touch of fruity citrus, and they taste like summer!
An important note:
Don’t eat them raw! In their raw state, the blossoms are slightly toxic. Preserving and cooking them neutralizes the toxicity.
HOW TO HARVEST ELDERFLOWERS
Elders usually grow on the side of the road, so it is best to gather elderflowers from an area away from the road. Just take a few bunches to ensure that plenty of berries will form later. Look for open blooms that are white or creamy white and don’t have browning edges. Use scissors or gardening snips, and cut the branch of the blossom bunch just below where it meets the main stem. Do not wash or rinse the flowers because you want to preserve the pollen (and most of the flavor).
HOW TO MAKE ELDERFLOWER SYRUP RECIPE
While it’s an easy technique, making the syrup will take a few days.
- Create a syrup. Make a simple syrup of sugar, lemon juice, water, and lemons in a medium pot.
- Add sugar syrup to flowers. Add elderflower blossoms and fold them until well combined.
- Steep the mixture. Cover the pot with a lid and let sit for 48 hours.
- Strain and bottle the syrup. Strain the mixture into a bottle or mason jar.
The syrup should be yellowish and transparent. Please keep it in the fridge for up to 2 months. You can also preserve (canning) it for longer shelf life. This will ensure the syrup stays shelf-stable for up to 1 year.
Precautions when using elderberry flower syrup.
Black elderberry contains toxic substances: prunasin and sambunigrin. They irritate the digestive system and may cause vomiting and weakness. Sambunigrin decomposes into hydrogen cyanide; therefore, the consumption of improperly prepared elderberry preserves, raw fruit, or flowers of this shrub can even cause death.
However, adequately prepared elderberry flower syrup is entirely safe and can be consumed by adults, children, and pregnant women.
HOW TO USE ELDERFLOWER SYRUP
This delicious elderflower syrup can be added to drinks, desserts, drinks, and other treats.
- Add to ice tea
- Add to sparkling water, fizzy drink, or cordial
- Add to lemonade
- Add it to champagne for a lavish party drink
- Infuse it in honey, vinegar, whipped cream, or frosting
- Use in cakes, scones, or muffins
- Infuse in ice pops for hot summer days
The floral flavor is perfect and refreshing for summer, so keep the syrup on hand and enjoy it!
I hope you love this elderflower syrup recipe as much as we do! Let me know in the comments below. What’s your favorite homemade drink for summer? I’d love to know!
Homemade Elderflower Syrup Recipe
- 3 cups elderflower blossoms rinsed (leaves and stems removed)
- 4 cups sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 lemons sliced
- 5 cups liter water
- 1 tbsp lemon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Add the sliced lemon and elderflower blossoms to a large pot.
- In a separate smaller pot, add the rest of the ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil. Sugar has to have dissolved.
- Pour the sugar syrup over the blossoms and lemons and stir well to combine.
- Let the mixture cool down to room temperature.
- Cover with lid and let it sit for 48 hours, stirring a few times.
- When ready, strain the mixture through a mesh sieve. The syrup should be clean-looking with light yellow color (unless you use coconut sugar, it will be darker).
- Pour in a mason jar or a glass bottle and keep it in the fridge for 2 months.