Elderflower Cordial Recipe

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  • Low-fat


1.5 litres


10 min


5 min

Nutrition per portion

Calories 66 kCal 3%

Elderflower cordial is the perfect summer drink. These days you can buy a variety of elderflower cordials in the supermarket, but why not have a go at making your own with our homemade elderflower cordial recipe. Nothing beats the delicate, floral flavour of homemade elderflower cordial. Use it as a mixer for summer cocktails, or make a few bottles as edible gifts.

Elderflowers are in bloom for a relatively short time. Elder usually blossoms in late May and June, so if you want to make homemade elderflower cordial this year, then late spring and early summer is the time to get picking those flowers. Elder grows along hedgerows, footpaths and in gardens all around the UK. Although it’s synonymous with the English countryside, elder can also be found growing in cities, so if you fancy trying your hand at some easy foraging, then this is one of the best plants to start with. Just make sure you use a guidebook or trusted website to properly identify the elderflowers first. 
Elderflowers are small, creamy-white and delicate and have a familiar floral scent that will remind you of elderflower cordial. Experts recommend picking heads of elderflowers early in the morning on a warm, dry day to get the best results for your cordial. You’ll need to pick about 20 large elderflower heads to make our cordial recipe. Our recipe makes about 1.5 litres of cordial.
Once you’ve made this gorgeously fragrant elderflower cordial with a hint of lemon, you can enjoy it with soda water or sparkling water. Add ice cubes and cucumber slices to turn it into an easy mocktail. Add a dash to a gin and tonic or top with Champagne or Prosecco for a simple cocktail. Try our elderflower cordial instead of lemon in a drizzle cake, or in one of our elderflower recipes that include gorgeous desserts and summer bakes.
Ready to make homemade elderflower cordial? Just follow our simple recipe below.
How to Make Elderflower Cordial

1. In a scrupulously clean pot, bring 850ml (1 ½ pt) water to a rapid boil.
2. Place the lemons, elderflowers and citric acid in a large china bowl and pour over the boiling water, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Leave the contents to cool down then cover the bowl and leave in a cool place for 48 hours.
3. Strain the cordial through a muslin lined sieve and pour into sterilised bottles. The cordial is ready to drink immediately or will keep for several months. Store the cordial in the fridge once opened.


  • 1kg (2lb 4oz) granulated sugar
  • 2 un-waxed lemons, thinly sliced
  • 20 large elderflower heads
  • 50g (2oz) citric acid
  • you will need
  • sterilised bottles and lids


Top Tip for making Elderflower Cordial

It is really important to make sure that all your utensils are spotlessly clean. Do not wash the flower heads but make sure that you have inspected them for wildlife!

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