Elderflower Cordial

As promised here’s a simple recipe for Elderflower Cordial. It’s easy to make, cheap and tastes delicious – it truly is summer in a glass!!! Great to make your very  own Elderflower Pressé a sophisticated alternative to alcohol or add to white wine and soda for a floral twist on the classic spritzer …. more details at the end of this post.

Apart from the all important elderflowers you only need 3 unwaxed lemons, 500g unrefined caster sugar, a litre of water and 3 sterilised 5ooml bottles. A little dissolving, blitzing, stirring, infusing and straining is all that’s needed to create your own elderflower cordial at a fraction of the price. What’s more you control the ingredients, so you control the quality!


*The pink elderflowers in photos are from hybridised variety sambucus nigra growing in my garden.

20 – 25 elderflower heads in full bloom
500g unrefined caster sugar
3 unwaxed lemons
1 litre of water

Here’s what you do:

Over a low heat in a saucepan gently dissolve sugar in water, once sugar fully dissolved, bring to the boil and keep hot.


Whilst the sugar is dissolving shake the elderflowers to remove any insects or dirt. Using scissors or a knife cut off most of the stalks as too much stalk can add an unwanted bitterness to the cordial.

IMG_1093 - Version 2

In a food processor or blender blitz one of the lemon with a tablespoon of the hot sugar syrup until you have lemon puree.

Grate the peel and thinly slice the remaining two lemons.


In a clean large bowl combine the trimmed elderflowers, the lemon puree and the grated and sliced lemons.


Pour the hot sugar syrup over the flower heads and lemons. Stir well to mix all the ingredients. Cover and leave for 48 hours to infuse. During the 48 hours try to stir the mixture in the morning and evening.


Strain mixture through sterilised muslin or very fine sieve, squeezing any excess moisture (flavour) from the flowers.


Pour into sterilised bottles (500ml screw-top or stopper top glass are best), label and store somewhere cool and out of direct sunlight.


Once opened keep your delicious cordial in the fridge. To enjoy it at its best use it within six weeks of opening, it will last longer.

As I’ve already hinted you can use your cordial for Elderflower Pressé, Spritzers, or Cocktails. To get you started here’s my concoctions … for each recipe I use either tall chilled glasses or chilled champagne flutes and add crushed ice or ice cubes.

  •  Elderflower Pressé: pour into your chilled glasses of choice  a dash of elderflower cordial (or to taste), top up with chilled sparking water and serve.
  • Elderflower Spritzer: pour into your chilled glasses of choice a dash of elderflower cordial (or to taste), top up with three parts white wine to one part soda and serve.
  • Elderflower cocktail: make up a jug of elderflower pressé (just cordial and sparkling water) in advance and store in the fridge until needed. Into your chilled glasses of choice add a slug of either gin, vodka or tequila, some crushed ice, top up with the elderflower pressé and serve.

Celebrating? Try substituting the white wine & soda water or the sparkling water for champagne  for fabulous Elderflower Champagne Spritzers or Elderflower Champagne Cocktails.

You can use a dash or slug of elderflower cordial to pep up anything sweet – cakes / muffins, puddings / pies, cheesecake. Pour a little over vanilla ice-cream, fresh pancakes or waffles or why not experiment with summer fruit punches.


If you missed my post giving pointers on the dos and donts of collecting elderflowers, you can check it out here.

Coming soon Elderflower Champagne …. so watch this space.



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