Edible Gorse Flower Syrups, Cordials & Cocktails

Gorse Flower Syrup

Gorse Flower Syrup


  • 500g gorse flowers
  • 500g sugar
  • 1 litre water
  • 2 limes
  • 1 orange


  1. Pick your gorse flowers in the morning on a warm, sunny day before it gets hot. This ensure the essential oils and, therefore taste, are at their best.
  2. Check through your gorse flowers to remove any twigs, leaves and bugs.
  3. Grate the rind of the orange and the limes with the fine side of a grater to make the citrus zest. Try to avoid the bitter white pith.
  4. Boil the water and sugar together.
  5. When it has started to boil, keep it on the boil for at least 10 minutes, then switch the hob off.
  6. Add the citrus zest, the juice of the orange and limes, and the gorse flowers and make sure they are all submerged.
  7. Cover and leave to infuse for 6 hours until cool (or overnight if easier).
  8. Then follow either of the final steps below:
  9. Quick-use method
  10. If you are using this up quickly or are happy to refrigerate:
  11. Once infused, heat very gently until the mixture liquifies a little again. Then strain the syrup through a muslin bag into a clean, dry bottle and seal.
  12. Long-storage method
  13. If you want to store this for a while: 
  14. Once infused, heat very gently until the mixture liquifies a little again. Then strain the syrup through a muslin bag into another saucepan. Bring the strained syrup quickly to the boil and boil rapidly for three minutes exactly. Pour through a stainless steel funnel (it's hot!) into a sterilised, dry bottle and cap immediately.
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Gorse at Rumbling Bridge

How much sugar?

This syrup will keep well in the fridge. I have experimented with syrups to try and get the least amount of sugar in them. Often a syrup recipe can have equal amounts of sugar to water, 50% more sugar than water, a third sugar to water. Sugar acts as a preservative and if you do not want to refrigerate your syrup you will need to use a higher amount of sugar.

This recipe uses 50% sugar to water and should keep fairly well in a cool store room.

The lowest I have used is 25% sugar. (For example in the recipe above I would use 250g sugar to 1 litre water). This will certainly keep in the fridge. However, if you want it to keep you must use method B – after the syrup has been strained you return it to the boil, and boil vigorously for exactly three minutes and then bottle (must be sterilised bottle AND cap), and seal immediately, then it may well keep for up to a year. Occasionally, I get a ‘corked’ one but not often. But I am blessed with acres of gorse near me so make this in bulk and don’t mind to much if I lose the odd one.

If one is ‘corked’, basically a mold has got in. You can tell before you open the bottle as it is very liquid (like water not syrup) when you shake it and there is often a white, solid disc of mold matter sitting at the top of the bottle that has been eating all the sugar! There is nothing you can do but compost the remains!

Gorse Flower Cordial

Well a cordial and a syrup are two names for the same thing really. A cordial being a diluting syrup. So to make a delicious fizzy summer drink, put around 3-4 cm of Gorse Flower Syrup into a glass and fill with sparkling water.

And now for the cocktails!

Gorse Kir

1 part gorse flower syrup
4 parts dry white wine

Gorse Kir Royal

1 part gorse flower syrup
4 parts champagne

And of course once the summer is over and you’re fed up with Gorse Kir, you can always move on to my Crème de Sureau (Elderberry Cassis!)


  1. Will Hiley

    Have you ever tried to make or heard of gorse gin or gorse vodka, I thought I’d try to make some?

    • Vodka is better because it doesn’t mask the taste of the flowers like gin. Gorse has a slightly coconut like taste so the vodka is a little ‘piña colada’! Enjoy 🙂

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