How to make elderflower syrup and a chocolate elderflower cocktail

Elderflower by Stephen Studd
Elderflower by Stephen Studd

Elderflower syrup has replaced elderflower cordial in our house as it is so much easier to make. I made a video some time ago and wrote a piece for the Telegraph about making syrups and this really is an extension of that process. The beauty of doing them this way is that you can whip them up when you need them. I sometimes even make a syrup then add half the amount of boiling water needed to instead add a block of ice, this can cool down the syrup allowing you to use it immediately – great for those cocktail emergencies.

Elderflower, honey and Spruce tip syrup

The flavour combination here just works although I would suggest using a fairly delicate honey, if you are not confident that you can find any spruce tip or that you are not picking deadly yew tips then you can replace the spruce tips with the peel from one unwaxed lemon. The best time to pick spruce tips is across the summer months when they are at their peak, equally, elderflower is normally in bloom in the early summer.


3 fresh spruce tip sprigs
2 elderflower heads
250ml/half a cup honey (or sugar)
250ml/half a cup hot water

Pluck off the elderflowers into a mug, drop in the spruce tips. Pour the honey and hot water over the botanicals and stir. Leave to infuse for 5 mins, strain, cool then decant into a bottle. Add 10ml of vodka and it will keep for up to 6 months.

‘Andy for the summer – Chocolate Elderflower

If there are two flavours that are begging to go together it is chocolate and elderflower, add honey and spruce to the mix and you have a drink that will make you become the hero or heroine of every barbeque, cocktail party and soiree this summer.

2 parts elderflower, honey and spruce tip syrup
1 part Creme de Caco

Add the ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake until your hand is cold. Strain into a coupe, champagne flute or cocktail/martini glass, garnish with a sprig of spruce tip.