Elderflower Cordial 2012


Our country has been graced with lots of rain and cloud these past few weeks and whilst it’s dampened many human spirits, the plant kingdom has also been slower than years past. What highly detailed scientific evidence do I have to back up such a claim? Well, the last week of June is when I make that year’s supply of Elderflower Cordial and the flowers were at the end of their season for the last two years, whereas they were only just coming out this year. Around these parts, they’re out for 2 to 3 weeks, so there we have it. Totally unconclusive science šŸ™‚

Aanyway, this is the recipe I follow to turn these nice smelling flowers into a light refreshing drink that lasts all year.


Makes about 1 litre

25 freshly picked heads of Elderflowers (Sambucus subsp somethingOrAnother)
1 small lemon
600ml water
800g white sugar
35g citric acid

Cheesecloth / Muslin / boiled J-cloth
Huge bowl


Throw it all into a bowl and pour over the hot syrup

Pick through the Elderflowers, shake off the worst of the little black bugs that you’ll inevitably get. Put them into a huge bowl.

Thickly slice the lemon and put that into the bowl too.

Put the sugar and water into a pan and heat it up so that the sugar dissolves into a heavy syrup. Take it off the heat, stir through the citric acid powder and pour it all into the bowl.

Cover the bowl and leave it for at least 1 day, preferably 2. I like two because I think it gets more of the floral scent out of the Elderflowers, although you need a bit less lemon or it will get too pronounced.

Pour everything through some muslin a couple of times to filter out the flowers, lemons and the glace insects and pour into a bottle for safe keeping

Finished Elderflower Cordial