How to make Elderflower Cordial

A bottle of elderflower cordial, a jug of sparkling elderflower and a glass of sparkling elderflower

When the elderflower blooms appear, it’s a sign that spring is half way through, and we gather fragrant blossoms on our riverside walks. With a light floral scent and a flavour with hints of honeydew, gooseberry and lychees, elderflower cordial is perfect for adding to jellies, desserts, or simply add to sparkling water and enjoy.

The process for making cordial from elderflowers is similar to making rhubarb cordial, but easier. Steep the freshly picked flower blooms in a sugar solution, then add citric acid and lemon for acidity and preservation. Set side to to infuse and strain … like I said … simple!

Elderflower Cordial


  • 750g caster sugar
  • 1.5 L water
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 100g fresh elderflower blossoms, about 20-30 blossoms depending on size
  • 50g citric acid 


Prepare the elderflower blooms, shake off and dust or bugs and trim the flowers off the stems.

In a large pot, put the sugar and enough of the water to just cover, stir over a gentle heat until dissolved. Add the lemon zest and slice the lemons and then add them too. Add the remaining water, citric acid and submerge the elderflowers in the syrup.

Cover the pot and set aside for 24-48 hours.

Strain the cordial through a colander lined with a clean towel and portion into sterilised bottles (run glass bottles through the dishwasher, or wash well with soapy water, rinse, then leave to dry in a low oven). The elderflower cordial is ready to drink straight away and will keep in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. You can also freeze it in plastic containers or ice cube trays and defrost as needed.

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