How to make elderflower cordial
The light and floral aroma of elderflower makes it a delicious flavouring in a sweet cordial. Learn how to make elderflower cordial at home, then mix with sparkling water, champagne or prosecco for a refreshing springtime tipple – you could try a Hugo cocktail for example.
- Start by placing 1kg of granulated sugar with 1.75 litres of boiling water in a bowl, stir to dissolve, then cover with a clean tea town and leave to cool.
- Then, thinly zest and slice 3 lemons and 4 limes and add this to the sugary water.
- Add the flowers of about 50 elderflower heads, plus 65g citric acid, stir, cover with cling film and leave for about 36 hours in a cool dark place.
- Finally, strain once though a fine sieve, then strain again thought a muslin cloth.
- Decant into sterilised glass bottles (see tips) and keep in a cool dark place for up to two months.
Click here for the full recipe.
Tips to success:
- It’s important to sterilise the glass bottles before decanting your cordial in order to remove any lurking bacteria. Find out how with our handy video.
- Before adding the elderflowers to the sugary liquid, make sure to give them a good shake first to remove any hidden insects and dirt.
- Once opened, use your elderflower cordial within a month.
- The flowers from different elderflower trees can have variable depth of scent. Find a tree you love, and go back to it! Remember to leave some to go to berries too.
How to use up leftover elderflower cordial
- Aromatic icing
Add a couple of teaspoons of elderflower cordial to icing sugar with enough water to make a thick, spreadable icing. Use to decorate biscuits, or thin down with a little more water to ice fairy cakes.
- Twist on a classic
Add a couple of tablespoons of elderflower cordial to a simple victoria sponge cake mix.
- Elderflower spritz
Mix a glug of cordial, a measure of vodka, some chopped fresh mint and a good squeeze of fresh lime in a glass, then top up with prosecco and soda water.
Recipes using elderflower cordial
Raspberry and elderflower fool with elderflower thins
This creamy fool, made with strawberries and elderflower, makes an irresistible summertime dessert. The thins (delicate biscuits) are perfect for dipping.
Elderflower syllabub pavlova
When we think of summer desserts, pavlova immediately springs to mind. The combination of crisp meringue, soft whipped cream and fresh fruit is the perfect balance between light and satisfyingly rich. We’ve gone one step further and crowned this beauty with a pillowy elderflower syllabub! Spoons at the ready…
Elderflower jelly with blueberries
All you need are three ingredients to make this easy jelly recipe: elderflower cordial, gelatine and blueberries. Whip it up in just 10 minutes, then serve in pretty glasses at a summer party.
Elderflower, lemon and cherry cream flourless cake
A gorgeously moist flourless cake made with ground almonds, polenta, lemon juice and, of course, elderflower cordial. The cake itself is delicious as it is, but the addition of a thick cherry cream doesn’t hurt…
This twist on a battenburg cakes sees a lemon and pistachio sponge wrapped in elderflower-spiked marzipan. Its zesty flavour makes it a little lighter than the classic version – perfect for a summery afternoon tea.
A hugo cocktail is a refreshing, super-zesty mix of prosecco, gin and elderflower cordial. Whisk up this seasonal number to enjoy on a sunny afternoon, served with lots of mint.
You already know how to make a good G&T (light on the T, heavy on the G), so we thought we’d share this elderflower number instead. It makes a wonderful springtime tipple garnished with plenty of fresh, fragrant herbs.
Don’t forget to check out all our elderflower recipes for even more inspiration!