1kg Granulated sugar 
1 liter boiling water
50g citric acid or juice 2 large lemons
zest of 2 large lemons
18 elderflower heads, stalks removed


  1. Put the sugar in a large bowl, bucket or basin with the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add the citric acid or lemon juice and the lemon zest.
  2. Shake the elderflowers to remove any insects and add the flowers to the sugar syrup. Cover and leave to stand for 1-2 days, stirring morning and night.
  3. Strain the elderflower cordial through muslin and decant into sterilised bottles. It’s now ready to use.

I picked the elderflowers in the morning sunshine just as the flowers were warming and opening their tiny little petals. I gathered around eighteen blooms and gave them a shake to dust off any bugs. Being careful not to knock all the scented pockets of goodness from each stem.

An easy and relaxing task for summer. Here is a quick video. Sorry about the camera wobble and an abrupt end. I Need to get the tripod out. Just doing a few tests with the camera and hoping to get more video’s on to our youtube channel soon. Look out for Simon’s woodwork and gardening video’s too.
Link to our channel and our Gardening playlist is in the vid.

Following the recipe, I brought a litre of water to the boil and melted the sugar in a bowl, then began cropping the green stalks. After giving the elderflowers a final check over I popped them in the bowl with the grated peel and juice of two lemons. You could also add the tang fantastic citric acid just to reduce the sickly sweetness of the mixture as recommended in Country Living Magazine. But I prefer to add a slice of lemon or squeeze more lemon into my drink to taste.

After a day or two I checked that wonderful scent of a summer morning trapped in the bowl on the kitchen counter top. I sterilised my jars and ladle before pouring through a cloth a syrupy elderflower infusion to seal in the sunshine. You can pasteurise to make the cordial keep longer or simply refrigerate to pause the fermentation process.

Here is some inspiration for elderflower including a cordial recipe from Pete Rapson, he’s been Jamie Oliver’s gardener for over six years and assists with content for blogs and books.

The link to Jamie Olivers website:

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