Elderflower cordial


This recipe is one of my summer favourites. I would make elder flower cordial in a big bowl from my parents elder flower tree. Before moving to my home I had little access to elder flowers in Canada and had to buy IKEA's cordial, which in all honesty is quite good! At $5 for a 0.5l bottle though it can be made way cheaper. You have to pick elder flowers rather than buy them so they are free (just make sure you have permission if you don't have your own tree), the rest of the cost is just a few lemons, sugar and citric acid. I get about 2-3l depending on how many flowers I gather and all in all I pay about $3-4.


This recipe scales, and starts at a small batch using merely 10 flowers. My normal batch uses 30 so 3x the amount listed in the ingredients. It's also not very finicky and easy to adjust. Keep in mind that the sugar acts as a preservative so using less may result in a shorter lasting batch.



10 large elderflower crowns

1 lemon (ideally organic, you'll be using the whole lemon)

 About 450 grams of sugar (2 cups)

1 tsp citric acid

700ml of water (3 cups)



Put the sugar and water in a pot on the stove and heat on medium temperature, letting it dissolve while you prepare the rest.

Wash the stems of the elder flower crowns and remove and straggling leaves. You can wash the flowers but this results in less flavour.

Slice the lemon

Layer the elder flowers, lemons and citric acid in your vessel of choice. I use a large food grade bucket.

Once the sugar water is completely dissolved pour it into your vessel over the flower mix. Press the flowers down to ensure that they are covered, you may want to top up with a bit of cold water depending on the size of your crowns.

Cover and let sit for 4 days in a cool spot, remember to stir daily (this is very important, I've had to dispose of moldy batches when I've forgotten to stir).

After 4 days pour everything through a strainer and put into well sanitised bottles. Usually they last for 1-2 months in the fridge. To tide me over until the next summer I like to freeze a few bottles that I've only half filled. I keep them in the fridge overnight first and then move them down to our chest freezer for year round summery feelings.

To drink dilute to your preferred strength with either club soda or water or use it for some awesome cocktails like an elder flower martini or maybe some elder flower sangria!