This easy and quick to make homemade apricot nectar is a great way to cool down on a hot, summer day! It will also make a fantastic addition to cocktails and mocktails, and can be preserved to last up to 6 months.
If you never cooked with apricots before, or never made homemade nectar, this recipe is a great starting point. It makes about a litre of delicious, sweet and refreshing nectar that once preserved, can last months and be enjoyed even during the winter months!
With apricot season being at it's peak, this recipe is a great way of using this delicious, sweet and fragrant fruit. Making homemade nectar with them is really easy, but if you want to explore some other recipes using this stone fruit, check out my Brown Sugar Peach Galette or my Summer Peach Cobbler (simply replace peaches with apricots).
To make this apricot nectar, you will only need 3 basic ingredients:
- Fresh apricots - halved and pitted.
- Sugar - use granulated or caster sugar, whatever you have on hand.
- Lemon juice - freshly squeezed juice from one large lemon.
- Fresh mint or basil - optional, to serve.
See the recipe card for the quantities.
Start by preparing the apricots. Wash the fruit, then simply slice them in half and remove their pits/ stones.
Hint: Don't throw away the apricot pits/ stones! If no-waste is your thing, you can use them to make your own flavoured liqueur, like this Homemade Amaretto Liqueur.
Next, transfer the prepared apricots into a large pan, ideally the heavy-bottom one. Pour cold water into the pan, making sure you have enough water to cover and submerge all the fruit in it.
Place the pan on a medium-low heat, cover, and cook the fruit for 30 minutes, until the apricots become really soft and come apart from their skins.
Add sugar and lemon juice, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until all of the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat.
Next, pour the mixture through a large fine sieve set over a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, push the mixture through the sieve, collecting the juices and puree in the bowl.
Keep pushing it through until no more juice comes out (You should be left with roughly about half of the fruit pulp to what you've started with).
Discard the leftover fruit pulp, and transfer the apricot nectar into prepared, sterilised jars or bottles (if preserving). You can read about how to sterilise glass bottles and jars in my Classic Elderflower Cordial recipe.
Alternatively, decant the nectar into a large jar, if you intent to use it over the next few days.
Hint: Leftover fruit pulp can be added to smoothies or used as a topping for your yogurt or porridge bowl. You can even mix it with some cream and use it as a cake filling!
This homemade nectar can be enjoyed in few different ways, and here are some of my favourites:
- Enjoy it straight, as it is, served with some crushed ice and garnish of fresh mint or basil and a slice of lemon or apricot wedge.
- Dilute the nectar with some still or sparkling water (my personal favourite), serve as above.
- Try adding your favourite herbs to the nectar, while it's still cooking, to infuse it. As mentioned before, mint and basil will work great, but you may want to experiment with some thyme, verbena or rosemary.
- Adding some spices can enhance the flavour too! Small pinch of cinnamon, cardamom or turmeric will not only add more flavour but also a little health benefit!
You don't really need anything fancy, or any special equipment to make this recipe. The fruit needs to be cooked ideally in a large, heavy bottomed pan, but any large pan will work. Just keep an eye on it as the fruit cooks, making sure it doesn't stick to the bottom.
Use large, fine metal sieve for pushing the fruit through. If you don't have a metal one, use plastic sieve with fine mesh.
If you are planning on preserving this homemade apricot nectar and extending it's life, make sure you have sterilised glass jars or bottles and lids ready.
You can store this nectar in a jar or a bottle in your fridge, for up to a week. If you want to extend it's shelf life, you can also preserve it. Properly preserved jars or bottles with this apricot nectar will last for up to 6 months.
To preserve, make sure you have sterilised your glass jars, bottles and lids. Carefully fill the ¾ of the jar or bottle with the nectar, avoiding any spillage around the rims (using ladle and funnel will be very helpful here), and close the jars with lids.
Place the jars in a large pan and cover with water (making sure whole of the jar is covered in water). Bring to boil for 30 minutes. Once boiled, leave the water and the jars to cool completely before removing.
Once cooled, check the jars to make sure they have been sealed properly. Store them in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
This apricot nectar will separate after standing still for a while. It is natural and absolutely fine when it happens. The puree from the fruit will separate and rest at the bottom of the jar/ bottle or jug, with water on top.
Make sure to shake the jar or bottle well before using it. Use a spoon or small whisk to stir the nectar well before serving it, if storing in the jug.
If you tried this Homemade Apricot Nectar or any other of my recipes, feel free to leave me a comment and a recipe rating below! I love hearing from you!
To pin this recipe and save it for later, use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above.
Homemade Apricot Nectar
- large heavy bottom pan/ pot
- large fine sieve
- wooden spoon or spatula
- canning jars (optional)
- 1 kg apricots halved and pits removed
- 500 g sugar caster or granulated
- 1 large lemon, juice only
- 1 litre water
- Place apricots and water in a large saucepan, bring to simmer and reduce heat to medium.
- Let simmer for about 30 minutes or until apricots are really soft and completely broken down. Add sugar and lemon juice and cook for another 5 minutes, until all of the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Remove from the heat. Pour the mixture through a large fine sieve set over a large bowl, pushing the apricots through with the wooden spoon or spatula.
- Keep pushing it through the sieve until no more juice and puree comes through. You should be left with roughly about half of fruit pulp to what you have started with. Decant into jug or bottle and store in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy straight, with some ice, or diluted with some still or sparkling water.
- If preserving nectar, pour it while it's hot into sterilised canning jars, filling ¾ of the jar, close with lids and place in a large pan covered with water. Boil for 30 minutes, allow the water and jars to cool completely, then remove the jars and place in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- You can store this apricot nectar in a jug, in your fridge for up to a week.
- If preserving, make sure you first sterilise your glass jars or bottles and their lids.
- The nectar will separate, after sitting still for a while. This is normal and it's nothing to be worried about. Make sure to shake the jar/ bottle well before serving it. If storing in a jug or bottle in the fridge, stir it with a spoon before serving.
This recipe was originally published in August 2016. It has been updated with new photos, revised recipe and tips in August 2021.