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Sweet, Savory Black Elderflower Syrup

Updated on February 13, 2014

Old Grandma Recipe For Refreshing Drink For Hot Summer Days

Let's go out in nature and gather some fragrant black elderflowers, from which we prepare delicious syrup. Elder is in full bloom and this is a recipe on how to prepare excellent elder syrup. Last year I made and it is easily lasts till a week ago, when ... when it run out!

The hardest thing to do here is to pick beautiful blooming elder flowers, taking care not to shake down pollen.

Photo Credit: Kwiat czarnego bzu/Black Elder flower by Kpjas

On Flickr - Creative Commons

Black Elderflowers Usage

Black elder (Sambucus nigra) is a plant (bush) with typical flowers and later with tiny berries. The flowers have a distinctive, aromatic flavor. You can smell them from several yards...

In cooking are elderflowers used as an ingredient in some dishes, and gives them the characteristic taste and smell. Typical is elder frying. Tiny flowers can be added to the dough for pancakes or omelets and thereby improve the taste.

Dried flowers or berries are popular ingredients of herbal tea, and they suppose to be beneficial for your health.

But special popular (at least in Slovenia) is elderflower syrup. Elder bushes are very common in Slovenia. Black elder bushes grow on the forest edge and between the houses.

Photo Credit: by Eun ByeolOn Flickr - Creative Commons

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 47 hours
Ready in: 48 hours
Yields: Many :)


  • 3 quarts of pure drinking water
  • 6 pounds of sugar
  • 6 big lemons (ripe
  • yellow)
  • 2 ounces of dried citric acid (additive)
  • 45 elderflowers (choose beautiful and big ones with plenty of pollen)
  • one large pot
  • empty clean bottles


  1. Pour water and sugar in a pot and mix it. Place on stove and boil. In the meantime stir every now and then, so it will nicely smooth, without sugar crystals and will not stick at the bottom. Then turn off the stove and allow it to cool down. In the meantime slice washed lemons. No need to peel them. Oh, slices should not be thick, let's say as thick as a regular pencil. Well, when the sweet stuff is cooled, dip in your finger and try. Lol, diabetes guaranteed, if you drink :) Anyway, then put in elderflowers (cut away the thick stems and yes, remove also the bugs) and stir them into a sweet mixture. Immediately after, pour into ripped lemons and stir. Funny, isn't it?
  2. Well, that's all for today folks. Now we need some patience. Put the lid on the pot and place it in the cool room and wait for 48 hours.
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Now What?

After 2 days the staff has very nice smell and the taste is still sweet. Of course, it is syrup! What you have to do? Pass the mixture through gauze into another clean pot. When lemon slices and elderflowers are in the gauze, squeeze juice into the syrup. Now, in fact you can already taste the stuff and dilute with water and if necessary add a little more citric acid. Yes, that's the matter of taste :)

Prepare some clean bottles - you might want to warm them in an oven, just to kill the bacteria. You don't need to warm them on 450 degrees... just make them hot a bit; the syrup is so sweet that there won't grow any bacteria or moulds. (To say it like expert: the water activity is too low for organisms to thrive.)

Close the bottles. Store them in the dark and cool room. The elder syrup will last at least for one year - but usually it doesn't - at least in my house. We all like to drink it :)

After bottle is opened, keep it in refrigerator. The citric acid and lots of sugar act like preservatives, but let's keep it on the safe side.

Dilute elder syrup with water or mineral water or sparkling water and serve in a glass that you may wish to decorate with a slice of lemon. If you want something even more special, add a few mint leaves. Serve cold, ice cubes are the best.

And a small tip: if you want to start making elderflower syrup tomorrow, it's not too late, just pick elder flowers on the shady side of the bushes. Or wait for next season :(

Photo Credit: by Bekathwia On Flickr - Creative Commons

If anyone has something useful to add, please let me know :)

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    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      6 years ago

      Never heard of this syrup, but we learn everyday something new... especially at Squidoo

    • prikazen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @anonymous: Tea from dried elderflowers is old remedy agains cold and inflamations :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Elderflower is supposed to help the immune system when you have a cold? Say if you have a lot of fever and those cold blisters. At least that is what I was reading about just now very interesting and I have seen these flowers growing here and there as well.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens, enjoy it. Have not heard of this before. Thanks for sharing.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thanks for sharing. Interesting stuff! ;-)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This sounds delicious.


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