Find out just how easy it is to make Elderflower Cordial from scratch using fresh foraged elderflower.
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!
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!
After being stuck in all morning waiting for work to call we made it out on our elderflower hunt. It would seem lots of people had been picking before us so there wasn’t much left at my height. Jon was awesome at wading through the stinging nettles and brambles to get the good stuff for me! Watch this space as we’ll be making elderflower champagne tomorrow! #flowersofinstagram #elderflower #hedgerow #homebrew
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.
- About 25 elderflower heads
- Juice and zest of 3 unwaxed lemons and 1 orange
- 750ml spring water
- 500g sugar
- 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.
- Boil 750ml of spring water to the boil and pour over the elderflowers and citrus.
- Cover with clingfilm and leave overnight to infuse.
- 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.
- Strain the infused water through a sieve or piece of muslin straight into a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
- Add the sugar and heat on low, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved.
- Once the sugar is dissolved slowly bring to the boil.
- Once boiled take off of the heat and, using a funnel pour the hot liquid into sterilised bottles or jam jars.
- Seal the bottles and store in the fridge.
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: