In the UK we’re lucky enough to have an abundance of beautiful native Elder Trees growing throughout our gardens and countrysides. The white clouds of sweet-scented blossoms start to open at the beginning of summer and are best harvested when they’re just starting to bloom. The rest of the flowers left on the tree will transform into elderberries which can be harvested later on in the year.
Elderflower produces a unique flavour that’s both fragrant and refreshing. Our Elderflower Cordial Recipe is easy to make yourself at home and can be paired with a wide variety of drinks to add flavour. Mix it with sparkling water and ice to create a refreshing presse or mix it with prosecco for a sweet, fragrant kick.
How to Make Elderflower Cordial
What you’ll need:
- 1.5L of water
- 2.5kg of caster sugar
- 2 organic unwaxed lemons
- 20 freshly picked elderflower heads (stalks, greenery and bugs removed)
- 85g citric acid
- 1 sterilised bottle
For the freshest favour, pick the blooms just as they’ve started to open. Left any later and you will be left with aromas not too dissimilar to cat pee which we can imagine is not what flavour cordial you’re looking for.
Once you’ve harvested the blooms that you need, give the bunches a good shake to remove any obvious bits of debris and insect. Next, give them a rinse and start removing the small flowers from the stems. Your aim is to get rid of any greenery that will leave a bitter-tasting cordial.
What to do next:
1. Start by finding a large saucepan, the large the better! Pour in 1.5L of water and the 2.5kg of sugar. Gently heat the mixture, stirring now and again and making sure it never boils. Keep going until all the sugar has dissolved.
2. Next, take your unwaxed lemon and start to remove the zest using a potato peeler then cut the remaining fruit into rounds.
3. Once you can see that all the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture to a rolling boil, turn out the heat and leave to cool.
4. Add your freshly washed elderflower blooms to the syrup along with the lemon rounds, lemon zest and citric acid. Cover the mixture in the pan and leave it to infuse for 24 hours.
5. Get yourself a jug and a clean tea towel or muslin cloth. Strain the mixture into the jug removing any leftover pieces of lemon and elderflower blooms. As the liquid is a syrupy consistency it might be best to ladle it onto the cloth and leave it to drip through slowly. Discard what's left in the tea towel at the end.
6. It’s now time to bottle up your Elderflower Cordial! Take your sterilised bottle** and pour in the content of the jug. Seal, add a nice label and you’re ready to go.
**(to sterilise the bottle, wash with hot soapy water, rinse and then while still wet place in a preheated oven for 15 mins)
Your fresh batch of cordial can be enjoyed straight away or stored for up to 6 weeks in a cool dark place. If you want to store it even longer, we recommend freezing it in ice cube trays that can then be defrosted as you need.
Not only can this cordial recipe be enjoyed by you but why not make a batch for friends and family. Put into a decorative bottle and add a nice label ready to give as a gift to loved ones for birthdays and other special occasions. Even better, send them the gift to grow their own, our Elder Tree Gift is delivered in a purpose-made box and will last for years to come. Each year producing fragrant elderflowers and elderberries for the picking.