Elderflower cordial recipe

(55 ratings)

Elderflower cordial is the perfect cooling summer drink. Make your own with this easy recipe that is sure to impress friends & family and will keep for ages

elderflower cordial
Preparation Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins plus 24 hrs standing
Cost RangeCheap

Make your own elderflower cordial with this easy elderflower cordial recipe that will keep for ages and you can use to make so many summer drinks.

Elderflower cordial is a must-have in the summer months. It goes with all of everyone's favourite summer tipples from gin to champagne and prosecco and even white wine. But rather than heading out to the shops and stocking up on elderflower cordial for your summer cocktails, why not try and make your own at home? It will be impressive to any garden party guests that you've whipped up your own and it'll probably taste ten times better than the shop-bought versions. Look out for the frothy white heads of elderflowers in gardens and parks across the UK in May and June. All you need to make this elderflower cordial recipe is four ingredients, then you leave it to steep and the flavours to develop. When it's ready, decant it into steralised glass bottles and jars to use it when you need it or give it as a gift (yes, we're thinking Christmas!). Elderflower cordial tastes just like summer diluted with sparkling mineral water with slice of lemon and a few fresh mint sprigs. Or for a special occasion, mix with sparkling white or rose wine. The cordial can also be used in fruit fools, jellies and mousses and goes particularly well with gooseberries.


  • 15 large elderflower heads
  • 900g caster sugar
  • 2 large unwaxed lemons, sliced
  • 2.4 litres boiling water
  • 50g citric acid (available from chemists)




  1. Shake then lightly rinse the elderflower heads to remove any dirt or tiny insects. If you collected them near a road or low to the ground you can soak them in water with a few drops of vinegar added to make sure they're nice and clean
  2. Next put the sugar in a large mixing bowl with the lemon slices, boiling water and citric acid and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the elderflower heads, cover and leave in a cool place for 24 hrs, stirring occasionally.
  3. Strain the mixture through muslin into a large clean bowl then transfer to sterilised bottles. Seal and store in a cool dark place. To serve, dilute with sparkling mineral water and decorate with fresh mint sprigs, if liked.
Top Tip for making Elderflower cordial

To sterilise the bottles, thoroughly wash and rinise then place in a warm oven for about 10 mins until dry and hot. Once opened, the bottle of cordial should be kept in the fridge and used within 1 week.