Homemade elderflower cordial

The elderflower is known for its delicate, almost floral vanilla taste and the leaves and flowers have been shown to have antiinflammatory action.

If you are gathering the elderlfower yourself  choose a dry sunny day. Sever the stalks carefully with scissors and keep the flowers upright so that pollen, the source of much of that amazing flavour and fragrance, will not be lost. Place carefully in a bag and have a good pick through at home to remove any bugs rather than washing them. Trim as much stalk off as you can before use.


  • 15 heads of elderflower
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons quality runny honey
  • 2 unwaxed lemons


Wash the elderflower well, picking off any bugs.

Place the sugar and honey in a large saucepan with 1 litre of water. Gently bring to the boil, until all the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat.

Finely grate in the lemon zest and add the elderflower upside down, making sure the flowers are completely submerged.

Squeeze in the juice from one of the lemons, then slice the other and add it to the pan, too. Pop the lid on and leave to one side to infuse for 24 hours.

When you’re ready to strain your cordial, line a fine sieve with muslin over a large bowl (if you don’t have muslin, you can use good quality kitchen towel) and pour through the cordial.

Store in sterilised bottles or jars and drink diluted with water, soda or bubbles.