This rich-aroma linden flower syrup has a sweet-floral taste. Use it to sweeten beverages, drizzle it over pancakes and waffles, or to sweeten frostings.
Making linden blossom syrup with fresh linden flowers is easy. All you need is linden flowers, sugar, water and citric acid (or lemon juice).
As you might know, I’m a huge fan of making homemade syrups. I love to make elderflower syrup and fancy pink colored lilac syrup each year. This linden flower syrup is one of my favorites!
For a few weeks, sometime between May and July, the blooming linden trees fill the air with a bright, floral and sweet scent like honey and jasmine. It’s almost intoxicating for people and insects alike.
Some people call Linden the “honey-tree” because they are a great nectar source for pollinators like bees. What most people don’t know: You can easily harvest the fragrant flowers and use them to make syrup.
How to harvest linden flowers?
The best time to gather linden blossoms is briefly after they open. Usually, you will notice their floral smell before you even see the linden tree.
I pick the flowers including the ribbon-like, greenish-yellow bract, which holds together the groupings of flowers. At home, I cut the individual flowers off with scissors. The bract is edible and used when making linden flower tee. But since it’s neutral in taste, I don’t add it to the syrup.
How to make linden flower syrup?
I start by heating the sugar, water, and citric acid, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved (no need to boil). You can find more about food-grade citric acid and how to substitute it in the recipe card below.
I usually make the syrup in advance and harvest the linden flowers while the syrup is cooling. At home, I cut off the flowers from the pale green bract (oval leave) and submerge them into the room temperature syrup.
Use a wide mouth bottle or several jars for this. Give the syrup a stir and let the flowers steep for two days in the fridge, covered. Drain the solids and enjoy your homemade linden flower syrup.
How to use it?
Simply add the syrup to sparling water or tap water. The syrup is pretty flavorful and sweet so you can add it in a ratio of 1 part syrup to 10 or 12 parts water.
I also love to add a dash to a wine spritzer together with some ice cubes and a slice of lemon. It makes a great addition to cocktails too!
Drizzle the syrup over waffles, pancakes, Dutch babies, and Kaiserschmarrn – the Austrian version of pancakes – or add it to frostings and cream fillings for cakes.
Use it to sweeten a cup of tea, a smoothie, or plain yogurt. Drizzle it over ice cream or panna cotta … the uses are endless!
This rich-aroma linden flower syrup has a sweet-floral taste. Use it to sweeten beverages, drizzle it over pancakes and waffles, or add it to frostings.
Recipe: Ursula | lilvienna.com
- 1/2 + 1/3 cup (200 ml) water
- 300 g /10.5 oz (scant 1.5 cups) granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons food-grade citric acid (see note)
- 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) freshly picked linden flowers
- Combine sugar, water, and citric acid in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved (no need to boil). To speed things up, use water from an electric kettle. Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.
- While the syrup is cooling, remove any insects or debris from the linden blossoms. Do not wash them, as they will lose a lot of flavor. Cut the blossoms from the greenish-yellow bract using scissors. You’ll need 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) of flowers. Put flowers in a jar or wide mouth bottle with a volume of 2 cups (500 ml) or several smaller jars, and pour the syrup over the top. Stir to submerge the flowers.
- Cover and put in the fridge for two days to give the flowers time to infuse their flavor into the syrup. Stir once during this time.
- After letting the flowers steep for 2 days, stir again, and then pour the syrup through a fine-meshed sieve and press down firmly on the flowers with the back of a spoon to extract any syrup held in the leaves. I usually filter it a second time, pouring it through a sieve lined with a multi-layered cheesecloth, a cotton cheesecloth, or a jelly bag.
- Fill syrup into bottles, screw the lids on and store at cool temperature (cellar, refrigerator). It should keep for at least 6 months, usually longer than a year even without cooking before bottling or without canning the syrup. Once opened, store the bottle in the fridge. Enjoy!
I use granulated food-grade citric acid, which looks like granulated sugar. You can find it at most supermarkets in the canning section. It is often located near the pectin and other canning supply. Sometimes it is available under the name of "sour salt" in the spice aisle. I got mine at a coop market from the bulk bins where they keep the spices.
If you can’t find it, use lemon juice instead of citric acid. For the amount in this recipe, you’ll need the juice of 1-2 lemons, depending on how sour they are. But be aware, using lemon juice might decrease the shelf life as the syrup can get moldy. To prolong shelf life and avoid cloudiness when using lemon juice, you can freeze the syrup in small bottles and defrost as required.
Can I substitute honey, agave or maple syrup for the sugar??
I personally have never tried substituting the honey for the sugar. But I read that others have made elderflower syrup (https://www.lilvienna.com/homemade-elderflower-syrup/) using honey with success. It uses basically the same ingredient-formula. I’d use the same amout as sugar by weight as indicated in the recipe list (300 grams). I would strongly suggest that you cook the syrup before botteling since sugar is the main preserving element in this syrup. Once opened, store in the fridge. Let me know how it tastes in case you give it a try. Best, Ursula