Tutorial: Elderflower Cordial

One of my interests is foraging, but in the past I have had very little opportunity to exercise this pursuit, but with the allotment being surrounded by beautiful countryside I have been keeping my eye out for any edible goodies in the wild. We have noticed some sloes and some blackberry bushes but the first on my foraging list which is ripe for harvesting at the moment is Elderflower!

There is a lovely looking elderflower tree near the allotment which I couldn’t resist picking. I took a bunch home and decided to make some elder flower cordial. I took the recipe from one of my favourite books, called Through the Kitchen Window by Susan Hill. If you don’t own it but dream of a country kitchen then this book is for you. It has inspired me for many years.


  • A large bowl
  • A tea towel
  • A colander
  • A large spoon
  • A sieve
  • Large bottle for storing


  • 25 heads of elder flowers
  • 2lb sugar
  • 2oz citric acid
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 2 pints cold water

1. Remove large stalks and leaves from the elderflower and place in the colander
2. Give the flowers a wash under running water to remove any bugs or dirt
3. Place the flowers in a large bowl and cover with the sugar, citric acid, lemon zest and lemon juice
4. Cover the ingredients with the water and give a stir. Leave covered with a tea towel for 2 days stirring occasionally
5. After 2 days sieve the ingredients thoroughly to ensure no flowers remain and decant into a bottle 

Use the cordial by diluting it with water or lemonade to taste and keep in the fridge once open. Why not try adding some cordial to your cocktails this summer for a lovely refreshing kick or make in a larger batch, decant into smaller bottles and save for Christmas presents (yes I just said Christmas)! One of my favourite things when I am feeling a bit under the weather is to make elderflower cordial with hot water, you can even add a slice of lemon and a spoon full of honey to make it truly medicinal.

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