Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower Cordial

My tried and tested Elderflower Cordial recipe.

You can use it instead of honey in a recipe, as a mixer with sparkling wine or cocktails, as a grown-up jelly dessert with strawberries… 

Elderflower Cordial


  • 45-60 flowerheards The more, the more fragrant the cordial.
  • 4,5 l boiled water
  • 3 kg organic light demerara sugar This is what I use but of course any sugar will suffice.
  • 50 gr citric acid


  • First, drink around 8-10 bottles of (screwtop) wine. Save the bottles.
  • Before you go out to pick your elderflowers, boil the 4.5l of water (in my kettle that is exactly 3 kettlefuls) and set aside in a big pan to cool.
  • When you get back, dump the elderflowers into the water so the water covers all the flowers. Leave for 24 hours. (I’ve even left for a couple of days at a pinch).
  • Take out the flowers from the now flavoured water. Squeeze out the last drops – but it's good to leave a few flowers floating around on the surface. Add the sugar and citric acid and slowly heat, stirring all the while.
  • When steaming well, and all sugar dissolved, immediately decant into pre-washed, screw-top wine bottles. This makes about 8 bottles. Use as a concentrate, mixed with sparkling water.Delicious, delicate flavour. Keep in the fridge once opened.


Note – As the elderflower stems and leaves are somewhat poisonous, try and snip off as much as possible – some people use a fork to ensure that only the small flowers get used. I dump in the whole flowerhead, but take off any leaves, and that seems to be working just fine.