To make six x 500 ml bottles:

  • 20 large heads of elderflower
  • 1.8 kg granulated cane sugar
  • 1.2 litres water
  • 6 organic lemons
  • 50 g citric acid


Collect elderflowers in the early morning or late afternoon and shake them free of insects.  If you have also managed to gather smaller heads, try making fritters with these.

Make a syrup or sugar stock by measuring the water into a large stainless steel saucepan then add the sugar and place over a medium heat, stirring all of the time to ensure that every granule is dissolved.  Bring to the boil and then reduce heat once more.  Simmer for a couple of minutes so that the solution will reduce slightly. Set the pan aside and allow to cool.

Zest four of the lemons and add this to the syrup as it cools.  Slice all of the remaining six lemons and add these to a large bowl with the elderflowers.  Carefully pour over the infused syrup along with the citric acid.  Stir well and then cover with a clean cloth or muslin and stand in a cool place for twenty four hours.

Sterilise the bottles.  Stain syrup through a clean muslin or a large linen bowl cover and pour into prepared bottles.

Dilute with soda water to serve or partner with your favourite tipple to make a summer cocktail.

Notes for cooks

Use within three months.