Sunday, 10 June 2012

elderflower cordial...

It's the perfect time of year to go out looking for elder flowers in the countryside. Here in the Cotswolds the hedgerows are full of the delicate and very fragrant umbellifers - perfect for picking and making into cordial. Pick them on a dry day, away from a roadside, and use to make champagne, cordial and fritters

If you want to know what elder looks like then the Natural History Museum has this identification guide to help you. 

Elderflower Cordial

makes 1 litre

pick 25 elderflower heads on a dry day - gently shaking out any bugs!
5g citric acid 
1 unwaxed lemon - juice and zest
1 litre of boiling water
1 bag (1kg) of caster sugar 

Put the elderflower and lemon zest into a large bowl and pour in the boiling water, cover and leave for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. After 24 hours strain the liquid into a pan and heat gently, adding the sugar, lemon juice and citric acid until dissolved then bring to the boil for a few minutes. Pour into a sterilised bottle and drink straight away. The cordial should keep in the fridge for about a month. 

You can substitute the citric acid for a second lemon if using the cordial straight away, but I add a little to help it keep a little longer. 

A little tip: To keep for longer Elisabeth Luard recommends in her book A Cook's Year in a Welsh Farmhouse to make the cordial into ice cubes and keep in the freezer. 


  1. my husband and I are doing ours today! great idea about freezing too! I am going to be making an elderflower cake this week with the cordial so will post it on the blog xx

    1. I'm elderflower cake making too today! It must be bake-off time ;0) Champagne making next week and fritters for pudding today.

  2. Ooh, I was thinking of making cordial today as well, but time and the weather got the better of me. Maybe later this week... Can't wait to try it - I've never made it before.

  3. Mmm lovely, ours aren't quite out yet in Yorkshire but I'm determined to make champagne this year - I look forward to reading about yours: )

  4. Hello! Thanks for this. We have elderflowers growing spontaneously in the garden this year. It looks very pretty :) x

  5. Hi, just found your blog. It's lovely! Inspired to get out and pick some elderflowers, would love to make champagne. No excuse really as there is a big bush right behind my house!

  6. lovely, i really miss making cordial with my mum. have you ever made champagne?

    barnicles x


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