Elderflower cordial

Capture the essence of warm English summers with this refreshing elderflower cordial
By Sophie Grigson
Elderflower cordial
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 1.5 litres
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus overnight infusing
  • Effort: easy



  • 20 heads of elderflower
  • 1.8 kg granulated sugar, or caster sugar
  • 1.2 litres water
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 75 g citric acid

Tips and Suggestions

To serve, dilute the elderflower cordial to taste with fizzy water and serve over ice with a slice or two of lemon, or a sprig of mint floating on top. Or add cloudy lemonade to make a non-alcoholic elderflower fizz.

For something more grown up, add a shot of gin or vodka and a lemon slice, or add it to white wine and sparkling water to make an elderflower spritzer.

Use your cordial to make gin, cucumber and elderflower ice lollies, elderflower syllabub or blueberry and elderflower upside down cake among our favourite elderflower recipes


1. Shake the elderflowers to expel any lingering insects, and then place in a large bowl.

2. Put the sugar into a pan with the water and bring up to the boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.

3. While the sugar syrup is heating, pare the zest of the lemons off in wide strips and toss into the bowl with the elderflowers. Slice the lemons, discard the ends, and add the slices to the bowl. Pour over the boiling syrup, and then stir in the citric acid. Cover with a cloth and then leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

4. Next day, strain the cordial through a sieve lined with muslin (or a new j-cloth rinsed out in boiling water), and pour into thoroughly cleaned glass or plastic bottles. Screw on the lids and pop into the cupboard ready to use.

Looking for more ways with elderflower? Take a look at our elderflower recipes

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