Move over elderflower…there’s a new sweetheart in town

I feel like I should be telling you this in a lowered voice in some dingy Soho den because I am a traitor. An adulterer. A sinner. I never thought I would utter these words but shhh…. intoxicating elderflower – I think I may have found another love.

For years entranced by its glorious blooms and unique sweet smell of Lilac, little did I know that it could produce such a incredible ‘blow your pants off’ flavour. And guess what, it looks darn pretty too.

Lamenting the dark months before the first flurries of Elderflower hit the hedgerows, I stumbled across a recipe for Lilac syrup. Really, I thought, you can eat this stuff? Well it just so happens you can and when you combine it with simple sugar and water, it produces the most powerful syrup, full of depth and cherry like flavour. Perfect with ice cold bubbles, gorgeous over ice cream and delicious in cakes. And it’s pink – what ‘s not to like?

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  • 12 heads of lilac
  • 2 litres of water
  • 1500g caster sugar
  • 20g citric acid


  1. Boil the water and sugar together, let the sugar dissolve and then turn off the heat and leave the syrup to cool completely.
  2. Pull the lilac blooms of the heads, giving them a good shake before hand to get rid of any unwanted bugs.
  3. Mix the flowers into the cooled syrup, add the citric acid and give it all a good stir.
  4. Cover the mixture with a lid or muslin (or in my case cling film with a tea towel over the top)
  5. Place in a cool dark place for a week and stir daily
  6. After a week, strain the flowers using a sieve and muslin cloth and bottle into clean sterilised bottles.

I cannot really find the words to describe the absolute pleasure in tasting this syrup. Elderflower will always be my first love but Lilac is most definitely my naughty bit on the side. The true test will be if I can make champagne from it next – my favourite thing to make from elderflowers. I made up the mix today so watch this space in a few weeks and I will let you know how it goes!

With credit to


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