Homemade elderflower cordial

Homemade elderflower cordial

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(26 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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 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.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
23rd Jun, 2010
Wonderful, just making my second batch! I agree that it doesn't freeze, but that makes it easier to take the amount you want out of the freezer each time. Mine is stored in well washed plastic 1 litre milk bottles.
19th Jun, 2010
I suggest you source your citric acid before you pick your elderflowers. Sadly a lot of chemists do not keep citric acid, and they have to order it in, because it is used by drug users. So be prepared to be questioned about what you intend to use it for.
17th Jun, 2010
Val did your cordial freeze?
17th Jun, 2010
hi debsthelawyer, I made a similar recipe last summer and it lasted well into February this year before going off. I imagine it'll be fine until September for your wedding. I bottled it in old soda water plastic bottles and left them closed the whole time. Once the bottle has been opened, I think the amount of air in the bottle tends to cause the cordial to go off quicker. So I'd recommend filling your bottles full and drink any half-filled bottles first.
17th Jun, 2010
Hello can anyone advise me how long the cordial is likely to keep? we are getting married late september and i really wanted to try and make my own cordial to use for soft drinks..... thanks Debs
16th Jun, 2010
I made some for 1st time on Monday and was so pleased, I'll never buy Bottle Green again (nice as it is). I used about 28 heads of elderflowers (they weren't huge), 3.5 lbs. sugar & 2 pts. water, 3 lemons and 75g citric acid. I zested the lemons, rather than pared them, then sliced the fruits. I didn't want it over-sweet hence less sugar & another lemon. Its gorgeous, still sweet but not overly. I haven't checked in freezer to see if it has frozen, but will do so now.
16th Jun, 2010
I made a half quantity of this just 5 hours ago but I couldn't resist trying it. It is delicious! I will make a double amount tomorrow. You only need a small quantity per glass of soda water - About 1 to 2 tablespoons. I think Gwennie maybe added too much and that was why it was so sweet. This is as nice as any expensive cordial I have bought, a definate favourite.
16th Jun, 2010
I tried to freeze the cordial but after 2 days it's still liquid....assuming it's the high sugar content. Maybe if i try ice cude trays rather than plastic box which is holding a larger amount.
14th Jun, 2010
Made this recipe over the weekend but found it very sweet, next time I will probably halve the sugar.


Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?