Traditional elderflower cordial

Traditional elderflower cordial


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About this recipe: Absolutely nothing tastes more like summer than the sweet, fragrant syrup of the elderflower. Scout your local hedgerows and groves for the flowers of the elderberry, usually at their best from May to June.


Makes: 1 litre elderflower cordial

  • 30 elderflower heads
  • 1 litre water
  • 900g caster sugar
  • 75g citric acid
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced

Prep:5min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Extra time:1day soaking  ›  Ready in:1day25min 

  1. Remove any insects from the elderflower heads, but do not wash. Remove as many of the green stems as possible, just leaving the little white flowers. Place the flowers in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the water to the boil then add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the citric acid, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  3. Pour the syrup over the elderflower heads then leave covered with a cloth for 24 hours.
  4. Strain the juice then pour into sterilised bottles.


To drink, dilute the elderflower cordial in sparkling water or add to gin and tonic or lemonade.

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