Recipes/ Recipes: Treats & Snacks

Homemade Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower Cordial

For me, elderflower cordial is the taste of childhood summers – holidays that seemed like they would never end, the feel of sun-warmed grass on your bare feet, barbecues and picnics and going to the beach after school. I couldn’t possibly imagine a summer without it. These days, you can buy plenty of good versions in the supermarket, but nothing quite beats the homemade stuff – and if you haven’t made it before, you’ll be pleased to know it’s really easy. The only tricky part can be tracking down the citric acid, but if you have a good independent pharmacist in your town, that’s a pretty good bet.

A quick note on picking the flowers – make sure you don’t pick any below waist-height, to avoid any doggy business, and go for flowers that are large and without too many brown patches. And finally, please make sure that what you’re picking is in fact elderflower – cow parsley looks quite like it, but grows on a stalk rather than a bush or a tree, and really doesn’t taste as good. Keep it smart, people!

PS Apologies for the fact that the ingredients are in old money – it’s a very old family recipe…

Elderflower Cordial

Print Recipe
Cooking Time: 10 minutes


  • 20 heads of elderflower
  • 3.5lb white sugar (approximately 1,575g)
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 2 oz citric acid (50g)
  • 3 pints of boiling water (approximately 1.7l)
  • You'll also need a muslin bag or large coffee filters, to strain the end product – a sieve won’t be fine enough to keep all the bits out



Boil up the water, and in a large saucepan mix with the sugar until dissolved.


Add the citric acid, sliced lemons and elderflower heads, stirring to make sure they’re submerged, and then pop a lid on the saucepan and leave for 24 hours, stirring every now and then.


When 24 hours have passed, strain the liquid using a muslin bag or coffee filters, and store in bottles. You can keep it in the fridge for a week or so, or you can freeze it.


Dilute with water to serve, in the same sort of proportions as you would for squash. Serve with plenty of ice and lemon. Cheers!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Charlotte Oates
    29th June 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I love elderflower, it's so refreshing and summery. I'd love to try making my own cordial but I just wouldn't trust myself to pick the right thing.

  • Reply
    2nd July 2015 at 3:05 pm

    I love elderflower cordial, I really need to get foraging so I can make my own! Glad you found the citric acid in the end 🙂
    Miss Pond | Manchester Based Lifestyle Blog

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.