Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower cordial
Picked elderflowers

Elderflower Cordial

Although there are a number of brands of ready-made Elderflower Cordial available now, it is is really easy to make your own.    I think home-made Elderflower Cordial is best as it has a zesty lemony taste which ready-made versions don’t seem to have.  Also, it is cheaper as the main ingredient is free!

Elderflowers are a good starting point for new “foragers” as they are so widely available and easily recognisable.   They are the blossoms of the elder (Sambucus nigra) which is a small tree or shrub commonly found in woodlands and gardens throughout the UK.   The small creamy-white flowers are arranged in big clusters and bloom in late May or early June.   In autumn, they turn into purple elderberries which also have a range of culinary uses.

Elder bush
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Elderflower cordial

Elderflower Cordial

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 1.5 litres 1x
  • Category: Cordial
  • Cuisine: English


This luscious home-made elderflower cordial is so easy to make and can be used in soft drinks, as a cooking ingredient or to bring a floral note to cocktails.



  • About 20 elderflower heads
  • 3 unwaxed lemons
  • 1 kg sugar


  1. Wash the elderflower heads to remove any insects.
  2. Then place them in a large bowl together with the grated zest of the lemons.   (Reserve the lemons as you will need to use their juice later.)
  3. Pour 1.5 litres of boiling water over the elderflowers and lemon zest.   Cover and leave to infuse overnight.
  4. The next day, strain the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin or kitchen paper, into a large saucepan.
  5. Add the sugar and the juice of the lemons to the infused liquid and heat gently to dissolve the sugar.   Once the sugar is dissolved, simmer more rapidly for around 5  minutes until the liquid has thickened slightly.
  6. Transfer the cordial into sterilised bottles or jars. (There are various ways of sterilising bottles and jars.  I think the easiest is to wash in soapy water and then put in an oven at 120 C for 15 minutes).
  7. Once bottled, the cordial will keep for several weeks in the fridge.


Although the preparation time is only 15 minutes, you do need to leave the mixture to infuse overnight (see step 3).

Keywords: elderflower cordial

Elderflower cordial
Picked elderflowers
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