June 7th, 2009


Elderflower Cordial

I have been on the elderflower watch for a few weeks and finally this week they were in full bloom. There were a few bushes by the road side with lovely big flowers, however I’m cautious to harvest them as they would be drenched in petrol fumes and covered with pollution.

As we live in a small village there are a few public foot paths near by. Between the heavy rain showers we  ventured out to forage for healthy fresh elderflowers. The season is short and as we all know  theyonly bloom once a year between end of May to the second week of June. As we were picking the elderflowers we were smelling  and nibbling them. We agreed that it smells and tastes like green almonds. My brain started to work over time and I was day dreaming about all the different dishes that I could make. As it smelt of almonds I thought it would make a pretty cool almond milk and elderflower panacotta or it would be a wonderful flavour addition to a gooseberry and elderflower chutney spiked with slithers of almonds.

After all the day dreaming I was pretty pleased that we have managed to harvest our crop for this year, so it was time to head home to make my precious batch of elderflower cordial for this season.

I make a batch each year and it normally lasts pretty well. It’s a saviour when I need to make a special dessert or serve a luscious drink on a hot summers day.

As we were in elderflower heaven we ended up making a few different dishes that will feature later on this month. We made elderflower tempura to garnish a lovely elderflower and English wine jelly, it’s lovely and slightly different.

Matthew Fort writes about his grandmothers elderflower champagne which sounds absolutely fantastic and I shall have a go at making this next year as I have already made cordial for this year.

Hurry and go elderflower foraging soon before it’s too late.


  • 250g elderflowers, cleaned
  • 1.1L  water
  • 900g caster sugar
  • 50g citric acid
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 limes

Bring the water to the boil, pour the boiling water over the sugar. Stir to dissolve and let it cool completely.

Wash and cut the lemons and limes in quaters and add to the stock syrup.

Pick the elderflowers and remove any dead bits and leaves. Place the elderflowers in a colander and wash under cold running water.

Let the elder flowers drain while the stock syrup cools.

Once the stock syrup is cold add the elderflowers and the citric acid, mix and place the mixture in a deep container in the fridge, place a layer of clingfilm directly on top of the mixture.

Let the cordial infuse for 48 hours, stir a couple of times during this period.

Pass the cordial through a fine sieve and pour into sterilised bottles. Keep refrigerated.

Makes aproxiamtly 2 litres of elderflower cordial

Food Fanatics Tips

If you add the elderflowers to they syrup while it's still boiling hot you will scorch the flowers and it will change the taste of the cordial. I have made this mistake in the past and the end result is not pleasant. Instead of keeping the cordial in bottles you can pour the cordial into ice cube trays and freeze them, this saves space and it will keep slightly longer.

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46 Comments to “Elderflower Cordial”

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  1. Christine Charman says:

    I have been making this for years and the only way of keeping it is by freezing, it doesn’t affect the flavour and is lovely at Christmas as part of a champagne cocktail.

  2. Chris says:

    Great recipe and site – I was just looking at my plant this morning wondering if I should try making cordial. Carol, I live in Australia too; you can buy the plant here and it grows quite fast. I’ve already had to hack mine back to ground level and it came bounding back. So pretty, worth having.

  3. Carol says:

    Loved Elderflower Presse during my recent trip to UK to visit relatives and friends but can’t get Elderflowers in Australia ! Any suggestions anyone please.

  4. Helena says:

    Hi there.
    Just to say that I freeze the lemons /limes and use in Gin And Tonic. It adds a lovely evening extra flavour.

  5. Rose says:

    Love elderberryblossom with sprudle/sparkling water.
    Tasted it the first time in the hospital in Germany and that
    was the only place I could find it (in the hospital).
    Glad to have come across this receipe. The blossoms are
    finished for this year, but next year I will be ready.

  6. Madalene says:

    Dear Dianne,
    Sadly there is nothing you can do, once it;s mouldy throw it. The flaovur will also be affected. Next time freeze it.

    Best wishes

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