This floral, sweet-smelling syrup is a perfect match with seltzer water or, better yet, champagne. I add lemon to my elderflower syrup to give it some zing, but the aroma is all elderflower. It is a delicate scent, very sweet and just a bit spicy.
The two difficulties in making this syrup are time and one special ingredient: Citric acid. You need this to help keep the syrup from molding up on you in the fridge; it also adds acidity to the cordial as well (as you might imagine from an acid…) You can find it at any brew shop, or buy citric acid online.
As for time, you need to infuse the flowers for at least 2 days, preferably three; I have seen other recipes that call for four days, but you might get spontaneous fermentation holding it that long.
This recipe makes about a quart of syrup, and it can be scaled up or down.
- 1 quart water
- 4 cups sugar
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons citric acid
- 15-25 elderflower heads
- Snip off the flowers from the stalks into a large bowl or bucket that will hold everything.
- Zest the lemons and add it to the bowl, then the citric acid and lemon juice.
- Bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve.
- Pour the syrup over the flowers, lemons et al and stir to combine.
- Cover the bowl or bucket with a towel and leave it for 2-4 days.
- When you are ready, strain it through a fine-meshed sieve lined with cheesecloth into a clean Mason jar. Seal the jar and store in the fridge.