In Season: Elderflower Cordial Recipe

This year, with a little more time on my hands, I managed to make a batch of fresh Elderflower Cordial. It sounds silly but I was really pleased with myself for making time to do something so wholesome, I felt like a domestic Goddess but, in truth the recipe could not have been simpler. Packing my picnic for my nephews birthday this weekend with my homemade elderflower cordial, and a lot of wine, makes it extra special. 

Elderflower is typically in season from late May to mid June so if you get foraging this weekend, you should still be able to find a healthy bunch to make your own elderflower cordial.

If you are feeling the urge to do it but not totally sure on how, below is a great recipe. I picked some elderflowers from our local park, Spencer Park in Earlsfield.  All you need is elderflower, sugar, lemon and citric acid – which I found easily at my local chemist. It’s totally delicious and a great activity to get the family out of the house!

2.5 kg white sugar
2 unwaxed lemons
20 fresh elderflower heads, stalks trimmed
85g citric acid 


  1. Place the sugar and 1.5 litres into a very large saucepan. Gently heat, without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved – stirring every so often. 
  2. Zest the lemons, then slice the fruit into rounds.
  3. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the pan to the boil then turn off the heat. 
  4. Give the flowers a shake or quick rinse in water to loosen any dirt. Transfer to the syrup with the lemons, zest and citric acid, then stir well. Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 24 hrs.
  5. Line a colander with a clean tea towel, then place it over a large bowl. Ladle in the syrup – let it drip through the towel and discard the leftover bits. Use a funnel and a ladle to fill sterilised bottles (run glass bottles through the dishwasher, or wash well with soapy water. Rinse, then leave to dry in a low oven). 
  6. The cordial is ready to drink straight away and will keep in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. Or freeze it in plastic containers or ice cube trays and defrost as needed.

Elderflower cordial makes a refreshing and fragrant Summer drink, that can be enjoyed simply with sparkling water or made into delicious cocktails. I love using my homemade elderflower cordial to make this thirst quenching Elderflower Collins cocktail using gin or if I’m in the mood for fizz, it’s got to be an Elderflower Bellini using prosecco.


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