Updated: May 31, 2022
This recipe makes just over 3pts / 1.8ltrs of Elderflower Cordial.
Before picking your elderflower, make sure you have food-grade Citric Acid (this can be found online or from a local refill shop), a muslin cloth and plenty of glass bottles.
Tips for picking elderflower:
Pick the elderflowers in the morning, before insects harvest their pollen
Make sure the flowers you pick are open and not browning
Avoid picking the flowers in the rain or after it has rained, and don’t wash them before use as this will wash away their natural yeasts
If the flowers smell distinctly of urine they are past their best - find floral and fresher smelling flowers
Chop off the thick green stalks before using
Pick flowers that are high off the ground, away from passing foxes or dogs
Use as quickly as possible after harvesting
1.4kg of Granulated Sugar
940ml of Water
40g of Citric Acid (optional)
25-30 Elderflower Heads - the more you use, the stronger the flavour
1 Unwaxed Lemon - cut into slices
1. In a large saucepan, melt together the water, sugar and citric acid on a low heat
2. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature (you might want to pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl or cold saucepan to help speed this up)
3. Whilst the syrup is cooling down, brush off any insects from the elderflower heads - don’t wash them otherwise you’ll wash off the natural yeasts and pollen. Trim away and discard as much thick green stems as you can - the flowers hold the flavour!
4. Sterilise a large glass bottle (instructions on how to do this are here)
5. Pop the flowers and lemon slices into the glass bottle and pour the cooled syrup over them - make sure the flowers are submerged in the syrup
6. Cover the bottle, jar or bowl with a lid and pop in the fridge for two days (48 hours)
Two days later:
7. Sterilise several glass bottles - see our "How to: Sterilise Glass Bottles" blog post on how to do this
8. Sieve the cordial through a fine-meshed sieve, cheesecloth or muslin cloth into glass bottles (we used Kilner clip-top bottles)
9. Keep in the fridge and enjoy - the cordial should last for up to a year!