Elderflower cordial recipe: How to make elderflower cordial

Warner's reveal how they make their elderflower gin

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Store-bought elderflower cordial is great, but you can make your own in about half an hour. This sweet, floral drink goes well with most alcohol drinks or even non-alcohol drinks. Not sure where to start? Express.co.uk talks you through BBC Good Food’s homemade elderflower cordial recipe.

How to make elderflower cordial


  • 2.5 kg white sugar , either granulated or caster
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 20 fresh elderflower heads, stalks trimmed
  • 85g citric acid (from chemists)

Step one

Put the sugar and 1.5 litres/2.75 pints of water into the largest saucepan you have.
Gently heat, without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved.

Give it a stir every now and again.

Pare the zest from the lemons using a potato peeler, then slice the lemons into rounds.

Step two

Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the pan of syrup to the boil, then turn off the heat.

Fill a washing up bowl with cold water.

Give the flowers a gentle swish around to loosen any dirt or bugs.

Lift the flowers out of the bowl, gently shake and transfer to the syrup along with the lemons, zest and citric acid, then stir well.

Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 24 hrs.

Step three

Line a colander with a clean tea towel, then sit it over a large bowl or pan.

Ladle in the syrup – let it drip slowly through. Discard the bits left in the towel.

Use a funnel and a ladle to fill sterilised bottles (run glass bottles through the dishwasher, or wash well with soapy water.

Step four

Rinse, then leave to dry in a low oven.

The cordial is ready to drink straight away and will keep in the fridge for up to six weeks.

Or, freeze it in plastic containers or ice cube trays and defrost as needed.

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