Make your own Elderflower cordial

Make your own Elderflower cordial

Ben Molyneux

Home-made elderflower cordial is fragrant and refreshing and quite straight-forward to make!

Try to collect your Elderflowers on a warm, dry, sunny day. As with any foraged food only pick from areas where you know it is safe to do so, avoid roadside verges or areas you know have been treated with any chemicals. And remember to leave some for the wildlife that relies on them. 

Before you start, sterilise your glass bottles by running them through the dishwasher, or wash well with soapy water. Rinse, then leave to dry in an oven on a low temperature. 


This recipe will make about 2 litres

  • About 25 Elderflower heads
  • Zest of 3 unwaxed lemons and 1 orange, plus their juice 
  • 1kg sugar
  • 1 heaped tsp citric acid (optional)


  1. Trim off the flower stalks then shake the elderflowers to remove any dirt or little creatures. Washing them is optional as it can affect the flavour by washing off the pollen. 
  2. Put the sugar and 1.5 litres water into a large saucepan. Gently heat, without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon zest and lemon and orange juice.
  3. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the syrup to the boil, then turn off the heat. Add the flowerheads and citric acid (if using), then stir well. Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 24 hrs.
  4. Strain through some muslin and transfer to sterilised bottles.
  5. Once bottled, the cordial will keep for several weeks in the fridge.