Home Made Elderflower Cordial


It’s so simple to do and brings summer a bit closer with this first bit of cooking of fresh produce – straight from nature (remember to ask if it looks like it’s growing on private land).

I love the taste of this and it’s simple to balance the flavours a bit to suit your taste too.

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This was originally a recipe from a grand Dame of “cooking from scratch” I’m fortunate to learn from, but I’ve cut down on the sugar and added a little lemon – sometimes even add a bit of that bottle lemon juice to taste after 12 hours or so. So easy to fix if you feel you’ve got it a bit less than to your liking, so give it a go.

Don’t forget to make an extra bottle for the freezer so you can serve a lovely glass of elderflower drink in the middle of the winter.

This is what goes in:

25-30 florets of elderflower (Guidance: if you get dusty picking them you are a little late, but it’s not impossible you’ll find enough good florets still)

4 lemons,

2 oranges

800g sugar

900ml water

NB instead of the lemons and oranges the chemist will have tiny bottles of 50 g citric acid or 2 tsp ascorbic acid, and the cordial actually tastes fresher that way.

Bring water to boil, stir the sugar into it until it melts. 

Add fruit which has been prepared by cutting peal off top and bottom and on four sides, each fruit cut into 4-6 slices and bitter pips and white material removed (no need to be too particular).

Add florets and boil for a few moments and then simmer with lid on for a further 40-60 mins stirring regularly (just to make sure nothing gets stuck to the base of the pot).

Leave to stand and when cold put in fridge for about 24 hours or at least over night. Pour over sift and into jug which pours well into bottles (do test that jug, as you don’t want to drop precious drink all over the place). Do it in the sink, as you’ll have better control with it all being a bit lower there, and should you miss the mess is easily cleared.

Some of the cordial I pour in plastic bottles and freeze – just make a wee bit of space for the liquid to extend into (the liquid is bigger when frozen).




Keep liquid in fridge, as all that sugar can make it go alcoholic and not in a good way.

NB if you feel it’s too sweet note this:

1) a bit of lime is not the solution – makes it bitter.

2) I’ve found that if you dilute this elderflower cordial somehow -it makes no sense I know- diluting it further brings the elderflower taste a bit more to the fore.

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