Elderflower Cordial

In our house, the annual family trip to forage for Elderflowers from the neighbouring village is one of the most exciting times of the year, as it heralds the arrival of summer. The beautiful and fragrant blooms of the Black Elder Tree can be found in every forager's basket during the month of June, and Elderflower cordial, being so delicious and easy to make, is likely what they're all gathering the frothy white flowers for. This famous drink marries fragrant Elderflower blooms and zesty Lemon to create a sweet summer drink that is wonderfully refreshing.


Prep Time: 15 Mins

Cooking Time: 15 Mins

Steeping Time: 1-3 Days

Quantity: Makes 2-3 Litres of Syrup

  • Foraged Elderflower Heads (Approx 25 heads).
  • 1.5 litres of Water
  • 1.5kg Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Lemons
  • 50g Citric Acid
  • 2 Campden Tablets (Optional)


  1. Add the Sugar and Water to a large saucepan and bring to the boil to make a sugar syrup, stirring continuously so the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  2. Slice the Lemons and add them to a large plastic tub or bucket.
  3. Lightly rinse the Elderflower heads. Using scissors, cut off the white flowers, discarding as much of the green stalks as possible. Some people prefer to use a fork for this task. Place the flowers into the bucket with the Lemons, and add the Citric Acid and Campden Tablets. The Campden Tablets will greatly increase the shelf-life of the cordial, but if you prefer not to include them, that's fine.
  4. Add the cooled Sugar Syrup to the plastic bucket with the Flowers, Lemons, Citric Acid and Campden Tablets, cover with a teatowel and leave to steep for 2-3 days, stirring daily.
  5. When steeping is complete, seive and strain the contents through a muslin cloth into sterilised clip-top bottles and seal.
  6. The cordial will keep keep in the fridge for 2-3 months, although we have found that ours lasts rather longer - up to 6-8 months.

Mix it up ...

Why not experiment with your cordial by adding some additional flavours during the steeping process, such as a few heads of Meadowsweet or Crosswort?