Elderflower cordial

We bottled up this year’s elderflower cordial yesterday. We made quite a lot, pressing back into use the nappy bucket of sloe gin fame.


  • 100 elder flower heads
  • 6 litres of water
  • 6 kgs of sugar
  • 100g of citric acid
  • 5 lemons, thinly sliced.


Boil the water and dissolve the sugar and citric acid in it. Pour the mixture over the elderflower heads. Leave covered for 48 hours, stirring occasionally.

Remove the flowers and lemons with a slotted spoon and the strain the mixture through muslin. Bottle.

It doesn’t keep too well, so needs freezing (unless you’re going to drink all that lot in a couple of weeks). Use plastic bottles. It’s best to use smallish bottles (500ml).

I’ve heard it suggested that adding a campden tablet will kill the natural yeasts on the flower heads and allow the cordial to be kept without freezing, but haven’t tried this.

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