How to make elderflower simple syrup

Learn how to make elderflower syrup and the best ways to use it. Elderflower syrup is a sweet, gorgeous floral flavoring that is perfect for baking, cocktails, lemonade, and so much more! Even if you're not a fan of floral flavors, you will love elderflower !

close up bottle of golden colored elderflower syrup next to a wicker basked filled to the brim with fresh white elderflowers

What is elderflower syrup?

Elderflower syrup is a think and sweet homemade syrup that's often used to flavor drinks and baked goods in the summer. It's made from

Simple syrup is generally found in two strengths: Equal parts sugar and water, the most common strength in U.S. bars, is referred to as “one-to-one” (1:1). Two parts sugar to one part water is, as you might guess, referred to as 2:1, which is the standard syrup in U.K. bars; in the States, you’ll often hear 2:1 syrup being referred to as “rich simple syrup.” Elderflower syrup is a simple syrup that's made with freshly bloomed or preserved elderflowers.

wicker basked overrflowing with elderflowers

How to forage and harvest elderflower

Elderflower grows wild in temperate regions. Depending upon where you live, elderflowers are at their peak in late spring to early summer. In most regions, mid-June seems to be the best time for picking. If left to their own devices, the flowers will turn into delicious dark purple elderberries around August. If you have access to elderflower and look forward to berries at the end of the season, you'll love our Homemade elderberry syrup & DIY elderberry gummy bears

The flowers are useful as a syrup, nutritional supplement and in cosmetics. The first step is learning how to harvest elderflowers.

Take a pair of sharp scissors and remove flower heads just below where all the small stems meet the main stem – you want as little of the green stem in your recipes as possible. but the flavor is best if you use freshly picked flowers. Harvest the whole flower heads when the creamy white florets have just recently opened.

Elderflower harvest only happens once per year, so it is important to properly preserve these useful and delicious flowers right at the time of picking.

tall glass of lemonade next to some white dainty elderflowers


  • Fresh or dried elderflower
  • Raw honey (any honey of choice will do) 
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • 1 lemon

how to make this syrup:

This 1:1 ratio is so simple, all it requires is boiling 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar + adding in your elderflower and honey.

if using fresh elderflower: use 1 cup

if using dried elderflower: use ½ cup

  1. In a small saucepan over medium/high heat, heat the water, sugar, and elderflower until it comes to a simmer.
  2. Stir to dissolve the sugar and continue simmering gently for 5 minutes, reduce heat and let simmer on low for an additional 5 minutes. 
  3. Remove from heat and let the liquid cool. 
  4. Lastly, strain into a container of choice (with an airtight lid)

Why add honey?

It's totally optional! Honey is a liquid treasure trove of flavors and colors. It has been found that bees make honey from flowers near their hives, like orange trees or wildflowers in nature- which gives it's honey a different flavors, and that distinctive and their unique taste! Any non crystallized honey will work fine in this recipe. But, for additional depth of floral flavor we recommend:

overhead shot of pot filled with sugar and lemon surrounded by leaves for elderflower syrup preparation

Frequently asked questions:

How should I use elderflower syrup?

Use elderflower syrup in baking, cocktails, iced beverages - and anywhere you desire to add some sweet floral flavor.

Where can I buy elderflowers if I can't find any?

If you can't find elderflowers near you, you can buy whole dried elderflowers online to make this syrup.

How long does elderflower last and how do I know if it's spoiled?

Sugar is used in cooking as a preservative— think jams and jellies, which are also called preserves. So simple syrups have a decent shelf life, when prepared and stored properly: made with very hot water and stored in a sterile container in the refrigerator. A 1:1 simple syrup like this one lasts only one month when refrigerated.

how to store elderflower simple syrup

The recommended way to store elderflower simple syrup is to use an airtight container that’s been sterilized.

love edible flowers? these resources may be useful to you:

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