Elderflower Cordial Recipe

(177 ratings)

Elderflower cordial recipe
  • Low-fat
Preparation Time10 mins plus steeping for 48 hours
Cooking Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories66 Kcal3%

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 elderflower cordial recipe? Nothing beats the delicate, floral flavour of elderflower cordial. Use it as a mixer for summercocktails, or make a few bottles asedible gifts.

What is elderflower?

Elderflowers are small, creamy-white and delicate and have a familiar floral scent that will remind you of elderflower cordial. Elderflowers are in bloom for a relatively short time. Elder usually blossoms in late May and June, so if you want to make 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.

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.

Elderflower drinks

Once you've made this gorgeously fragrant elderflower cordial recipe, which has just 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. A dash of gin and some tonic, or a generous slosh of fizz, will transform it into a simple but moreish cocktail.

Want to bake with it rather than drink it? Consider replacing the lemon drizzle in a lemon drizzle cake with this elderflower cordial recipe instead. Or plump for one of our other elderflower recipes, there are 10 yummy ideas to choose from including gorgeous desserts and summer bakes.

Ready to make elderflower cordial? Just follow our simple recipe below.

How to Make Elderflower Cordial


  • 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


  1. 1. In a scrupulously clean pot, bring 850ml (1 ½ pt) water to a rapid boil.
  2. 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. 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.
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!