Savouring Spring: Elderflower Vinegar

Savouring Spring: Elderflower Vinegar

The end of the elderflower season is always slightly bitter-sweet. No matter how much cordial, champagne or fritters I’ve managed to conjure up, I still feel I haven’t been able to make the most of it. Fortunately, this recipe is a brilliant way to preserve their flavour for use throughout the rest of the year. Plus, it only takes a couple of minutes to make.

This infused vinegar has a light, delicate flavour. Think of it as a sharper version of cordial. Combined with some olive oil, salt and honey it makes a perfect vinaigrette for any salad. It also could make an interesting pickling liquor for veg or maybe add a zing to a cocktail.


  • As with any elderflower recipe, pick on a bright sunny day away from roads. Make sure the flowers are bright white and not browning
  • I don’t wash my flowers before using them as it rinses away the pollen. Try to turn the flowers upside down for a little while before adding to the vinegar to allow any bugs to crawl away.
  • You need to let this sit for a couple of weeks before using it. It also helps to give it a little shake every now and again.
  • Any lighter vinegar is great to use for this. Malt is too strong and will kill the flavour. My personal favourite is a good apple cyder vinegar.

What you’ll need:

  • 500ml White or Cyder vinegar
  • 3 or 4 elderflower heads
  • A large, sterile jar


  • Check to make sure elderflower heads are free of bugs and dirt. Give them a shake to loosen any clinger-on-ers.
  • Remove the flowers from the main green stalk. You don’t need to pick the individual buds off but you don’t want any leaves or the thick green stalk ending up in the vinegar.
  • Place flowers into your jar and cover with vinegar. Leave for at least two weeks.
  • Once infused, strain through a clean muslin and put it back in the jar. It should keep indefinitely.

Click here for more elderflower recipes, and don’t forget once the flowers disappear… it’s all about the elderberry creations.

Jack Miles
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