Elderflower Cordial

Find out just how easy it is to make Elderflower Cordial from scratch using fresh foraged elderflower.

Make Elderflower Cordial from scratch having foraged the flowers yourself. It's a sweet, refreshing summer drink that can be used in cocktails and cakes alike.

Elderflower cordial

I am SO excited about the recipe that I’m sharing with you today.

Elderflower Cordial is one of my absolute favourite drinks. I’ve tried Belvoir, Bottlegreen and others which all taste fantastic but, if I’m perfectly honest, its a little bit too expensive to make a drinks cupboard staple. That is until now… I’ve finally cracked making Elderflower Cordial from scratch and today I’m sharing the recipe!

Make Elderflower Cordial from scratch having foraged the flowers yourself. It's a sweet, refreshing summer drink that can be used in cocktails and cakes alike.

From scratch

The idealist in me has always been inspired by the thought of making both food and bits for the home from scratch and I have a bookshelf full of books on homebrew, growing an allotment and become more self sustainable. The reality of the situation is that so long as we are renting in London there’s not an awful lot we can do.

In an attempt to move towards a more natural and self-sustaining world, last weekend we went out “foraging“. I use this term loosely as what really happened was that I posted on a Facebook page for locals asking if anyone knew where wild elderflower was growing. It just so turns out there’s a huge patch within 200m of the house we are hoping to buy! So off we went in search of the delicate pale yellow flowers.

We stuffed a huge carrier back full of the stuff, making sure to leave plenty behind for others, and enough so that the plant could produce berries later in the season. On returning home I embarked on what I’ve taken to calling #ProjectElderflower which amongst other things involves making Elderflower Cordial. Sorry Bottlegreen and Belvoir, I won’t be buying you in a hurry any time soon!

The funniest thing of all about our foray into the wild to collect elderflower is that now I know what I’m looking for I see it EVERYWHERE! Including in my back garden… Yes, I’m not kidding. It turns out there is one large mature plant and 3 smaller plants right outside our back door. Perhaps I should pay more attention… I also rather excitedly pointed out to Jon that there was a huge elderflower plant along our train line the other morning. He wasn’t too impressed at the thought of trespassing on the rails just to make another batch of Elderflower Cordial… I highly recommend you find a plant in a more convenient location!

Elderflower Cordial – The Recipe

It turns out making Elderflower Cordial is incredibly simple. The full recipe is set out in printable format below but in short, you infuse water with elderflower and citrus. Then strain this (once or twice depending on how fussy you are), add sugar, bring to the boil and there you have it.

The flavour of home-made Elderflower Cordial really is second to none. We couldn’t resist drinking some after it was taken off the hob and even slightly warm it tasted fantastic. Once you’ve made your own batch, scroll down to find a whole host of different recipes from cakes to cocktails which call for Elderflower Cordial.

Elderflower Cordial

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 24 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 1 litre

Ingredients

  • About 25 elderflower heads
  • Juice and zest of 3 unwaxed lemons and 1 orange
  • 750ml spring water
  • 500g sugar

Instructions

  1. Trim the elderflower heads to remove any long stalks, carefully remove any insects and dirt then place in to a large bowl along with the citrus zest and juice.
  2. Boil 750ml of spring water to the boil and pour over the elderflowers and citrus.
  3. Cover with clingfilm and leave overnight to infuse.
  4. Steralise the bottles or jars which you will use to store the cordial by washing with soapy water, rinsing and placing in an oven on low until completely dried.
  5. Strain the infused water through a sieve or piece of muslin straight into a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
  6. Add the sugar and heat on low, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved.
  7. Once the sugar is dissolved slowly bring to the boil.
  8. Once boiled take off of the heat and, using a funnel pour the hot liquid into sterilised bottles or jam jars.
  9. Seal the bottles and store in the fridge.
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Make Elderflower Cordial from scratch having foraged the flowers yourself. It's a sweet, refreshing summer drink that can be used in cocktails and cakes alike.

#ProjectElderflower

Elderflower Cordial isn’t the only elderflower drink I’ll be making this season. We also currently have a 10 litre batch of Elderflower Champagne fermenting away. It will be a few weeks until we find out whether or not it has worked (EEK!) You can get my updates in the meantime by following #ProjectElderflower on twitter.

If you’ve been inspired to make your own batch of Elderflower Cordial then why not use it in some of these delicious recipes from my favourite bloggers:

Prosecco and Elderflower Ice Pops from Kitchen Sanctuary
Prosecco and Elderflower Ice Pops from Kitchen Sanctuary
Elderflower and lime cake
Elderflower and Lime Cake from Lovely Appetite
prosecco and elderflower cocktail made with elderflower cordial
Prosecco and Elderflower Cocktail from Tinned Tomatoes
strawberry and elderflower cocktail
Strawberry and Elderflower Cocktail from Tinned Tomatoes
Baked Gooseberry Elderflower Custards from Family Friends Food
Baked Gooseberry Elderflower Custards from Family Friends Food
Mint and Elderflower Slushie from Coriander Queen
Mint and Elderflower Slushie from Coriander Queen
Elderflower and White Chocolate Cupcakes from Tin and Thyme
Elderflower and White Chocolate Cupcakes from Tin and Thyme

32 comments

  1. I love how honest you are about your “foraging”! I think I know what elderflower looks like but will have to check before I try to find some, wouldn’t want to end up with cow parsley cordial, which would be just my luck, haha. Look forward to hearing about your champagne too!

    1. Thanks Lucy 🙂 I’m keeping my fingers crossed it works! There’s always a risk with home brew it doesn’t turn out quite how you expect!

    1. I keep seeing it everywhere now Minna! I’m visiting my parents this weekend and it seems every house on the street has a tree growing 🙂

  2. I love the idea of foraging for herbs and flowers found in nature. The recipe looks delicious and simple enough and thanks for the ideas on what to do with the Cordial!

  3. I love your story! Ha Ha…it was in our own backyard! Love it! I have no idea if we grow enderberry in the states and to be honest…I’ve never heard of it! I travel to England often for work so I shall inquire with my co-workers out there to see if they’ve had this drink!
    Thanks for sharing this story!

    1. Oh nooo!!! I hope you can find them somewhere! There are a few edible flower delivery companies in the UK perhaps they have similar in the US too? In the meantime I hope you enjoy my post 😀

  4. It looks great! We have two elderflower trees in our new garden, but to my shame I haven’t used them for anything yet! You’ve inspired me, so armed with your instructions I’ll be making some cordial this week.

  5. Elderflower Cordial is one of my favourite drinks too! I so wish I had wild elderflower close to where I live!! I bet homemade tastes so much better than shop bought anyway! 🙂

    1. It’s SO much better Nadia! There are a couple of edible flower delivery companies online that can send you some. (That was my back up plan if we couldn’t find any locally!)

  6. I only discovered that my entire street was littered with Elderflower recently but of course I couldn’t use it and have yet to get someone to come with me to forage for it plus it’s been raining so much which has also scuppered my search. So I’m really jealous of your foray into Elderflower Cordial as I really want to find some before it all disappears!

    1. Hi Camilla. How frustrating! It is definitely best to “harvest” it when it’s dry otherwise the rain will have washed off all the pollen and that’s the tasty bit! Fingers crossed the sun starts shining and you get to give the recipe a go! It’s worth the wait 🙂

  7. This is beautiful!
    I love elderflower syrup but never made my own yet! I need to set up a #ProjectElderflower to search for some Elderflower! 😀 Can’t wait to see that Elderflower Champagne too!
    Definitely saving this for when I do find some.

    1. Thanks Dini. Sounds like you need to pin this for later! Keep your eyes peeled you never know where you might find an elderflower plant. I saw a small one on my way into work in the City today! Fingers crossed the champagne has worked and I’ll be able to share it in 2 weeks or so 🙂

  8. Sounds like you had a bit of an adventure getting your elderflowers! The cordial looks absolutely amazing.

    1. Hi Diana we had SO much fun!!! It’s always more rewarding if you’ve grown or foraged the ingredients yourself!

    1. Hi Pooja? Where are you from if you don’t mind me asking? It seems elderflower isn’t well known outside of the UK. The pollen gives a sweet, frgrant, citrus flavour. It’s delicious!

  9. This sounds just the kind of drink I’d like. I just don’t know if elderflower is available in Toronto. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. I’m afraid to forage, I might eat something really bizarre haha! Maybe it’s the kind thing available in farmers markets? Maybe…

  10. This post was such a blast to read! I love that you took matters into your own hands and foraged for elderflower…only to find it in your own backyard! So classic. I admit I’m an elderflower newbie but I love the thought of making your own cordial (and champagne!) and am now itching to give it a try!

    1. Hi Elizabeth. I’m glad you enjoyed the post! We’ll be testing the champagne for signs of life (and alcohol level) this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed it’s gone well!!!

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