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Monday 23 May 2011

Sluttishly Easy: Elderflower Cordial

Elder grows almost everywhere in suburban and urban places. If I can find it outside a block of flats in Deptford, then I'm sure you will find some somewhere near you. You don't even need very much to make elderflower cordial. Just 10 or 20 heads will do the trick. Try not to look too dodgy as you snip the heads from the elder tree. It's perfectly legal to take flowers from a bush, as long as you don't decimate the plant or go trespassing into someone's garden.

If you're in doubt, elderflowers look like this and smell of summer. In fact, it's actually best to pick them on a sunny day as that's when they have the most flavour.

Elderflower cordial (makes 500ml)

You'll need:

  • 10-20 elderflower heads, shaken clean of bugs but not rinsed
  • 350ml caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices
Make it!
  • Pour 500ml boiling water over the elderflower heads, sugar and lemon slices.
  • Leave to steep until cool, or just overnight.
  • Check the taste, and add more sugar if necessary.
  • Strain the liquid using a couple of layers of kitchen roll or a teatowel (clean!) in a sieve.
  • Serve with gin and ice or keep it for a few days in the fridge. Elderflower cordial also freezes well.


  1. I'm coincidentally writing a cocktail recipe that needs elderflower cordial. Yay.

  2. Just spotted a load whilst out with the mutt - will be back with a walking stick to grab the high branches and secateurs tomorrrow ;)

  3. We'll post our cocktail tomorrow too, Kate!

  4. country bumpkin23 May 2011 at 18:35

    I make this every year, it's summer in a glass. It tastes gorgeous mixed with Prosecco too :) If you bottle it in sterilised bottles, it will keep for a couple of months too (if you can be that restrained).


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