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.
I'm looking for a receipe to replace the canned Apricot Nectar I use for my Apricot Chicken. Do you think this would be a suitable substitute? Canned is normally like a concentrate. Also could maybe the left over pulp be pureed and added back in to make it more condensed? Really appreciate any helpful hints. Thank you.
Hi Paula, I'm pretty sure it can be used as a replacement for canned nectar. My homemade version is not as thick, and ever so slightly more watery, but adding the pulp back into it would definitely make it more substantial. I would love to know the results!
Never knew such a refreshing drink could be prepped so easily with a few ingredients! Love this for the hot summer days!
Thanks Farrukh, it's a perfect drink to cool down with, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!
Wow! What a great Summer recipe! I already have so many ideas how I can use this delicious nectar!
Thanks Veronika, so happy to hear that. Let me know how you got on, I would love to know how you've used it!
Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer
WHOA!!! How'd you capture summer in a jar??? This is pure magic! I'm obsessed with this! Thank you so much for sharing!!!
This apricot nectar is like a glass of summer! I love adding lots of ice and basil to it. So refreshing.
Enriqueta E Lemoine
I made this nectar with peaches and it turned to be delicious! I can wait to get apricots and do this recipe again! Thanks for the idea!
Thanks so much Enriqueta, I'm so happy to hear that you've tried this recipe with peaches instead of apricots and you enjoyed it! Many thanks for your positive review!
What a great idea. I never thought of doing this. I would love to give this a try. It makes a great food gift too.
Thanks so much for the recipe. When I think of apricots I think of how much my Dad loved apricot nectar. He passed away 6 years ago at almost 93. My stepson is currently picking apricots. A sweet lady posted on FB that we could have them FREE if we would pick them, so I am looking for recipes. Thanks again.
Hi Joyce, thanks so much for stopping by! I absolutely love when food brings back the memories of the loved ones. I hope this recipe will be up to your liking, and lucky you such kind neighbours around and being able to pick their apricots! Let me know if you try this recipe 🙂
II want thick apricot nectar for chicken pieces in oven. Store bought is too thin. Will your recipe be thick ,thank you,Dave
What do I do with all the pulp and skins left over? Help!
Hi there, thanks for stopping by. You can use the pulp and skins to make flavoured vinegars, flavoured syrups or even vodka. You can also add some apple or cranberry juice to it and make a jam. Hope this helps.
what a beautiful and delicious blog do you have.
And the recipe sounds fantastic ?
thanks for sharing.
Awwww thank you so so so much Klara! ❤️ I've just discovered your blog, and WOW!!! Same to you girl!!! I will be visiting often ? much love ! Xxx
I don't want summer to end. Granted Autumn is gorgeous, but British winters aren't 🙁
Oh well, I'll try to make some jam so I can fool my tastebuds into thinking it's still summer 😉
This recipe looks ace and may just be what I'm looking for.
Thanks so much for sharing.
That's so true Kimberly! I can cope with the snow, but most likely, all what we will get is rain ? But hey, at least we will have a whole new season of TGBB to look forward too!!! And all the jamming! ? hugs! Xxx