Elderflower Cordial

Elderflowers come into bloom in late May and early June. Make this delicious elderflower cordial to help you cool down on a hot day!


Elderflowers come into bloom in late May and early June — Elder can be found growing at the edge of mixed woodland, as well as in parks and scrubland. Use the instructions below to become a pro in making elderflower cordial to share with your friends and family.

If you need help to identify an elder, check out this Woodland Trust guide. It is important with foraged foods to be totally sure about what you are collecting.

What to do

1. Pick about 20 heads of elderflowers
2. Place in a large bowl, and add 1kg of granulated sugar, a sliced lemon, and 2 teaspoons of citric acid powder. If you can’t get citric acid you can add the juice of another lemon, but the cordial will not keep as long
3. Very carefully (with an adult’s help if necessary), pour 1.2 litres of boiling water over the ingredients. Then stir until all the sugar has dissolved
4. Cover the mixture with a clean cloth and leave to steep in a cool place. Stir it up twice a day for five days
5. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve or muslin cloth, and pour into clean bottles or jars. If you want it to keep longer than a few days in the fridge, sterilise them in the oven
6. Dilute your elderflower cordial to make a refreshing drink (you can use sparkling or tonic water too) – you can even use it to make sorbet or to flavour a cake.
Elderflowers and lemon in the liquid

Take it further

If you enjoyed making this delicious cordial you could try making our signature mocktail the Woody to drink at your next group night, party or just around the dinner table.

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