A Recipe For Elderflower Cordial

A Recipe For Elderflower Cordial

Foraging is something I’m intrigued by and interested in doing yet have done very little of. In an effort to change that, this summer I added making elderflower cordial to my summer bucket list. It’s really easy and fun to do. You just need to find a local source of elderflower and get your timings just right to harvest the sweet smelling blooms before they die off. From late may, elderflower is rather abundant yet short-lived, growing at the side of roads, embankments; from woodlands to waste grounds.

My top tip is to simply learn how to identify elderflower and, more importantly, how to tell it apart from the many other flora that looks near-identical to the little white blooms. Elderflower is a small shrub or tree, not a bush. Its leaves are feather-shaped and rather delicate while the bark and stem are quite brittle and gnarly. The flowers themselves are rather large with a flat top and a very distinctive elderflower scent. If in doubt, give the blooms a sniff and you’ll quickly discover whether what you’ve found is elderflower or not!

This is my recipe for turning foraged elderflower into a delicious cordial you drink all summer long.

A Recipe For Elderflower Cordial


800g white sugar, granulated or caster works
2 unwaxed lemons
20 elderflower heads, rinsed and trimmed
20g citric acid
1.25 litres


Put the sugar and water into a pan.

Heat, without boiling, and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Remove the zest from the lemons, and then slice the lemons into rounds.

Once the sugar has dissolved, bring it to a boil and then turn off the heat.

Add the rinsed and trimmed elderflower heads to the pan along with the lemon rounds, zest, and citric acid. Cover the pan and allow the syrup to infuse for 24 hours.

Pass the syrup through a sieve or, if a lot of bits still remain in the syrup, line a colander with a clean tea towel and sit over a bowl or pan. Ladle the syrup into the lined colander and allow it to filter through slowly, removing any remnants.

Using a funnel and a ladle, transfer the elderflower syrup to sterilised bottles. You can do this by washing them with soap and water and then boiling them or running them through a dishwasher before allowing them to dry on a low heat in the oven.

The cordial is now ready to drink! It will keep up to 6 weeks in the fridge or can be turned into ice cubes and kept in the freezer until you need them.

Pin This Post:
A Recipe For Elderflower Cordial A Recipe For Elderflower Cordial