Elderflower Syrup & Cocktail Ideas

Elderflower Syrup & Cocktail Ideas

I love foraging for food, experimenting with ‘wilder’ ingredients and tasting more unusual flavours. I will admit I’d never made anything with elderflower before, and decided after seeing the prompt for *30DaysWild to make a ‘wild cocktail’ I’d have a bash at this syrup. It’s a lovely floral scented, sweet syrup that you can add to various drinks and desserts, a definite taste of summer that is so easy to make I wonder why I never have before!

I’m joining up with a new linky (new for me anyway) ‘Simple and in Season’ over at Renbehan.com. Eating locally and eating seasonally is something I’m excited about doing more of. So finding so many fantastic seasonal recipes from other foodies is fantastic!

Elderflower Syrup & Cocktail Ideas

It took me a while to find any elderflower trees growing nearby, the few I’d spotted were in peoples gardens and right by main roads. Luckily while taking the Macster for a walk I spotted a few trees grouped together off the beaten track, so heading back later armed with a carrier bag and some scissors I selected around 15 elderflower heads. Ones were the flowers are just beginning to open are the best, if you pick older, yellowed flowers they smell a bit like cat piss…which doesn’t bode well for your syrup.

Making Elderflower Syrup

I checked a lot of recipes online and decided against using citric acid, mainly because I wasn’t making that much syrup, so wouldn’t be keeping it for that long and because I didn’t want the added sharpness of the citric acid distracting from the flavour of the elderflower. I was adding a lemon and an orange, so I figured that was enough of a citrus hit.
How long the syrup will actually last isn’t that clear, but as a general rule its about 2-3 weeks without citric acid in the fridge. With the citric acid its more like 3 months in the fridge, but there are some recipes/sites that claim it will last a lot longer.

Elderflower Gin CocktailWe’ve tried a few drinks/cocktails with this syrup  and they’ve all been pretty nice! Here’s a few you can have a go at, you’ll have to excuse the lack of measurements, it’s all personal taste!

Elderflower G&T
Glug of Elderflower syrup
Glug of Gin
Slice of Lime
Mint Leaves
Top up with tonic water

Elderflower Quencher
Glug of Elderflower syrup
measure of vodka
Glug of apple juice
Top up with ginger ale

Elderflower Mocktail
Glug of Elderflower syrup
A few fresh strawberries, halved
Mint leaves
Top up with sparkling water or lemonade

*Update – Nearly forgot, we also tried this posh cocktail  that the lovely Fionnuala over at My Kitchen Notebook posted up. Very ‘summer’ and refreshing, but those bubbles certainly go to your head quickly 😀

Besides drinks you can also use the syrup in desserts and cakes, I have a few I’ll be adding to the blog soon. Until then get out and enjoy the sunshine! 😉


*30DaysWild ran through the month of June, but there’s nothing stopping you, me, all of us from getting out and about and enjoying nature at anytime. I’ll have more foraging recipes soon, my favourite little berry will be ripe soon! 🙂



Elderflower Syrup

  • 600 ml water
  • 15 elderflower heads
  • 600 g sugar
  • 1 lemon (sliced)
  • 1 orange (sliced)
  • 1 tsp citric acid (optional)
  • in You will need a couple of sterilised bottles to keep the syrup . This recipe makes around a litre of syrup.
  1. Check your elderflowers over for creepy crawlies and snip off as much of the stem as you can as it is toxic, then put the flowers to one side.
  2. In a large pan that has a lid add the water and sugar.
  3. Bring to a simmer and over a low heat let the sugar dissolve completely into the water.
  4. Remove your pan from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
  5. Now add your elderflowers, sliced lemon and orange, and if you are using it citric acid.
  6. Give everything a good stir and pop the lid on the pan and leave for a good 24 hours or more so the flavours can infuse into the syrup.
  7. Make sure you have sterilised your bottles, I use the flip top bottles.
  8. Fill your bottles with the syrup and pop into the fridge, they should keep for 2 – 3 weeks without the citric acid. With the citric acid a few months.
  9. Serve topped up with soda water, water, in cocktails, in cakes and desserts, etc. Enjoy!


Simple and in Season

10 thoughts on “Elderflower Syrup & Cocktail Ideas

    1. Mother Mands Post author

      I think it’s the thicker part of the stem, not so much the little bits next to the flowers. Too late now! Well I’ve drank a fair bit of it and I’m feeling fine…*drops to floor, starts to foam at mouth* 😀

    1. Mother Mands Post author

      Ooh proper posh! 😉 I did have it with some prosecco, which I only bought as it was on offer 😀 Tight me.
      I will admit I do love Demi-sec good champers, I have drank it a few times in the past and it was delicious, but not a fan of the brut.
      Right time to try the syrup in a pudding, more soon! 😉

      1. widerangingramblings

        I prefer prosecco to champagne – it’s far nicer and less headache inducing! Elderflower with prosecco sounds yummy, one to try soon! I look forward to seeing the puddings!

  1. Angela @ Only Crumbs Remain

    Love your explanation of which age elderflowers to pick..”they smell of cat p*ss if” they’re too old!! Had a hearty chuckle at that! Especially as our boy (cat) had an ‘accident’ on the carpet Wednesday night due to the Thunder storm!! 🙂 Lovely especially in this heat I can tell you!!
    It sounds delicious & I adore elderflower cordial, however I don’t think I could trust myself to pick the correct flowers. x
    Angela x

    1. Mother Mands Post author

      I think Mac the dog is sneakily weeing everywhere now he’s old! So I’m surprised I can sniff out the difference anymore. The elderflower syrup tastes good though, so my nose still works.

      I’m afraid I’m going to have to postpone your roulade for the BBQ, I had started making a strawberry Charlotte today, for this evening, little did I know how much prep, time and fannying around making a Charlotte involved, and it still isn’t finished!! It’s sat in the fridge not setting, so it will have to be for the BBQ now. The roulade will be for next week now. Still trying the peaches and strawberries though 😉 x

      1. Angela / Only Crumbs Remain

        It’s amazing how much time some dishes take to make. It’ll be worth the effort Mands I’m sure you’ll love the Griddled peaches & Strawberries – I’m salivating here just thinking about them!
        Have a lovely weekend.
        Angela x

    1. Mother Mands Post author

      Thanks for popping over and commenting 🙂 I’ve just discovered Meadowsweet and this has overtaken Elderflower, got to try a few recipes out now 😉


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