Homemade elderflower cordial

Homemade elderflower cordial

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(25 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 10 mins Plus picking and 24 hours steeping


Makes about 4 litres

Fragrant and refreshing, springtime elderflower cordial is easy to make. Mix with sparkling water to create elderflower pressé, or add to wine, prosecco or champagne to start a party in style

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per 250ml

  • kcal619
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs165g
  • sugars165g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0.03g
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  • 2½ kg white sugar, either granulated or caster



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 2 unwaxed lemons



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 20 fresh elderflower heads, stalks trimmed
  • 85g citric acid (from chemists)


  1. Put the sugar and 1.5 litres/2¾ pints water into the largest saucepan you have. Gently heat, without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved. Give it a stir every now and again. Pare the zest from the lemons using a potato peeler, then slice the lemons into rounds.

  2. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the pan of syrup to the boil, then turn off the heat. Fill a washing up bowl with cold water. Give the flowers a gentle swish around to loosen any dirt or bugs. Lift flowers out, gently shake and transfer to the syrup along with the lemons, zest and citric acid, then stir well. Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 24 hrs.

  3. Line a colander with a clean tea towel, then sit it over a large bowl or pan. Ladle in the syrup – let it drip slowly through. Discard the bits left in the towel. Use a funnel and a ladle to fill sterilised bottles (run glass bottles through the dishwasher, or wash well with soapy water. Rinse, then leave to dry in a low oven). The cordial is ready to drink straight away and will keep in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. Or freeze it in plastic containers or ice cube trays and defrost as needed.

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Comments, questions and tips

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26th Jun, 2016
Why does my cordial have white fluff in it? I have strained twice through Muslin but it keeps coming back? I did use a Jamie Oliver recipe which required no citric acid please some help?
paulosman's picture
8th Jun, 2016
Just made my first ever Elder flower Cordial. the recipe was easy to follow and the end product taste is great. OK so i used more flowers than stated. however the finished cordial is cloudy but the taste is great
21st Jun, 2015
I add a little vodka to the finish syrup to preserve it. An ounce of vodka to a quart of syrup. Works great.
10th Jun, 2015
I made this using about 200g (40 to 50 heads) and the same quantities of everything else. I grated the zest rather than peeled it and let it marinate for 36 hours. The result is such a thick and rich syrup. I drink it with badoit water, my favorite drink! have told other people to hurry up to pick the flowers too!
5th Jul, 2014
I made this for the first time this summer and will definitely make next season! However I doubled the amount of elderflower heads and the time for infusing and the result was gorgeous.
Jod880's picture
17th Jun, 2014
What a fab, easy recipe! I did pass it twice as it was still quite cloudy after the first sieving. Totally delicious I'm looking forward to trying it with lost of different drinks!
15th Jun, 2014
Just made this for the first time and it is delicious. I'm a real fan of elderflower cordial and usually drink Bottle Green but this recipe is even better and so easy. Thoroughly recommend it.
15th Jun, 2014
Just made this for the first time and it is delicious. I'm a real fan of elderflower cordial and usually drink Bottle Green but this recipe is even better and so easy. Thoroughly recommend it.
martawillcox's picture
11th Jun, 2014
We used about 100 heads of elderflower with the recipe above and the taste is exceptional! Highly recommended, if you can get that many! We got citric acid at a local asian foods mini-mart.
9th Jun, 2014
I've made this for a few years now. As I knew I would be moving house last summer I made a huge batch two years ago and we are still using it now. It is as good now as when it was bottled.


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