My Mum’s Elderflower Cordial

The citrous green of elderflowers are popping out all over the hedgerows, which only means one thing – elderflower cordial!

My mama always used to make elderflower cordial when I was little, and I can’t drink it without being transported back to that grubby kneed seven old I once was, in an over hot garden, gulping down refreshing mouthfuls of the fragrant, chilled liquid.

The small boy and I headed out to pick big basket loads at the weekend, and I’ll be using my mum’s recipy to make bottle fulls, hoping that one day he will have similar memories. He’s certainly got the grubby bit down already!

You will need-

2.5 kg sugar

2 lemons

20 fresh elderflower heads

85g citric acid (you can buy this from the chemists, and they’re especially good at giving it out at this time of year!)


When picking your elderflowers, head out early on what’s promising to be a hot day, and only pick heads where all the flowers are fully open, fully greeny cream, and frothy looking. Don’t pick any with brown bits as it will sour the taste, as will using the stems.

To make:

Grab the largest saucepan you have, pop in all the sugar and 1.5 litres of water into it and gently heat, without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved.

Remove the the zest from the lemons using a potato peeler so it comes away in big slices, then cut up your lemons.

Bring your water/sugar mix briefly to the boil, remove from the heat and add your rinsed elder flowers heads along with the lemon pieces, and citric acid. Then cover and leave till the next day.

Strain your syrup through a tea towel or muslin cloth (it should come out perfectly well in the wash) and put the resulting cordial into glass, air tight bottles to keep, or into many glasses to drink right away!

Drink with soda water, sparkling wine or Champaign.


(Top Image By – Rubelle)


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