Elderflower Cordial

Elderflowers are in season

I first came across elderflower cordial in the kitchen counter of a farmhouse near Škocjan Caves, Slovenia. I didn’t know what to do with it, but the name carried certain warmth and happiness. So when I saw them at my local farmers market last weekend. I decided to give it a try.

The process is actually quite simple. I went through several recipes online and settled on this one by Luisa.


25 heads of fresh elderflowers (about 2 cups of pedals)
6 cups (1.5 litre) water
5 cups (1 kg) of sugar
3-4 organic lemons
2 tablespoon citric acid


  1. Hold the flower head over a large bowl, gently shake off the blossoms and its pollen and pick the rest of blossoms off the stalk. (Discard the stalk, it’s toxic.)
  2. Thinly slice lemons into rounds and add them to the flowers.
  3. Put sugar and water into a saucepan. Gently heat, without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved. Give it a stir every now and again. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the syrup to a boil, then turn off the heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Pour the liquid over flower and lemon mix. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it somewhere dark and cool to infuse for three to five days. Stir the mixture once a day.
  5. Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel into a large pot.
  6. Add citric acid and bring it to a brief boil.
  7. Fill couple of sterilized glass bottles with the hot liquid. Let it cool completed.
  8. Leave in dark and cool places for up to a year.


This recipe should yield 1.5 litres of elderflower cordial. You can use it to flavor cocktails, sparkling wine or water. I intend to use mine in desserts or ice creams to add a floral accent. I love the idea of preserving the aroma of the season.

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