Elderflower Cordial

Nothing is quite as enticing as a long cool glass of Elderflower Cordial; so easy to make but so delicious to drink. A home-made cordial tastes just as good (if not better) than those you can buy in the shops and is a fraction of the price. Pick a sunny day to get outside to forage for the perfect Elderflowers, follow our instructions below and off you go.

You will need the following ingredients and equipment: (makes 4.5 Litres/ 8 pints of Elderflower Cordial)

  • 27.5 litre bucket
  • Plastic Spoon
  • Funnel
  • Filter bag
  • 1 spare clean container that can hold 4.5 Litres/ 8 pints
  • Bottles for storage
  • 1 Jug
  • 1kg Citric Acid
  • 4kgs / 8½ lbs sugar
  • 6 lemons – squeeze the juice and reserve the skins
  • 6 pints boiling water
  • 60 large elderflower heads (with as little stalk as possible)

Check out our Elderflower kit to get you started HERE.


Pick your elderflowers on a warm sunny day choosing only the most fragrant creamy-white heads (old yellowed flower heads can have a nasty smell of tomcat!). Make sure you shake the heads to remove and insects.

  1. Put the sugar and citric acid into your bucket.
  2. Boil the water and pour onto the ingredients, stirring well with the plastic spoon until dissolved.
  3. Add the squeezed lemon juice, the skins and the elderflower heads and stir again.
  4. Put the lid on the container to prevent contaminants or fruit flies getting in. Allow the mixture to infuse for 5 days, stirring it every day.
  5. Strain the cordial through the straining bag provided (you can use a sieve or colander underneath the straining bag to help keep it stable) into another clean container

Storing your cordial:

Using a jug, carefully pour your cordial through the straining funnel and into clean (ideally sterilized) bottles. If you are not pasteurising your cordial any type of bottle can be used. The cordial should be kept in a fridge where it will keep for up to 1 month

Pasteurising your cordial will give it an infinite shelf life. we stock pasteurisers which can be used for pasteurising juices and cordials as well as bottling fruits and pickles. Fill 750ml glass bottles to within 1inch / 3cms of the brim. Pasteurise the loosely capped bottles, holding the cordial at 70ºC for 20 minutes. Tighten the lids then invert the bottles to pasteurise the caps; the cordial will then keep indefinitely until opened in a cool dark area. Once opened, store the cordial in a fridge.

The unique taste of Elderflower can also add a welcome hint of summer to spritzers and sorbets. We have tried and tested these refreshing ideas:

Refreshing Elderflower Cider Spritzer: Just add a dash of elderflower cordial to a half-full glass of cider, top up with sparkling water & ice and garnish with a slice of lemon and a few mint or lemon balm leaves. A great hit with those who like their cider a little sweetened.

Gooseberry & Elderflower Fool or Jam: Add a liberal splash of cordial to complement the flavour of gooseberries in jam and in fruit fool.