These past weeks, many gardens in my neighborhood had their elderberry trees in full bloom and the white flowers looked absolutely lovely. But it was actually my mother who suggested I try to make my own elderflower syrup – I had not made the connection at all between the white blossoms and the fruity syrup… The good news is that it is surprisingly easy to make, you only need a bit of patience. 🙂
The syrup tastes great as a non-alcoholic refreshment. Simply mix 1/8 of syrup with 7/8 of cold sparkly water, add some mint leaves, and enjoy. Of course, you can also add it to a glass of prosecco or sparkling wine.
- 20-30 umbels of the European (black) elderberry tree (see picture)
- 1 unwaxed, untreated lemon (so the peel should not have been treated with insecticides)
- 25 g citric acid (look for it in the baking aisle)
- 1½ kg sugar
- 1½ water
How to Make It
- On your next walk through the neighborhood, pick 20-30 elderflower umbels. They should be in full bloom! Make sure not to crush them or shake them too much.
- Back at home, cut the umbels into smaller pieces and clean them carefully. The bigger and thicker stalks can make the syrup taste bitter. Also cut off any unopened blossoms. Pick off any bugs and spiders as well.
- I would be careful about simply rinsing the umbels off, though, because then you also wash off the yellow powder inside the blossoms which give the syrup its taste!
- Once you are done, put the elderflower blossoms into a big pot or bowl (you need to be able to close it with a lid later).
- Wash the lemon and cut it into slices. Add the slices to the bowl.
- Pour the citric acid on top.
- Take another big pot and heat up the water. Add the sugar to it and bring it all to a boil.
- Pour the sugar water over the elderflower blossoms, the lemon slices, and the citric acid and let it cool down a bit before covering it all with the lid.
- Let the mixture rest in a dark and cool place for 4-5 days.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer and/or a fine cloth into a pot.
- Heat the liquid up and bring it to a boil. Then fill it into clean bottles and close tightly.