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Lockdown Homemade Elderflower Cordial

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With this gorgeous weather and possibly a slightly slower pace of life for some during lockdown, I have at last go round to making Elderflower cordial. It is something I have intended to do for as long as I can remember! Every year, I look at the Elderflowers coming into bloom and think this is the year and inevitably something gets in the way, but not this year!

Last weekend, I combined a gorgeous morning walk with cutting Elderflower heads, before heading home to make my first batch, which didn’t disappoint.

It was amazingly easy to make (as long as you plan ahead and have the right ingredients in the cupboard), extremely satisfying and delicious.

So whilst the Elderflowers are still in bloom, get out with a pair of scissors/secateurs, pick a carrier bag full and get making.

Thank you the Ghillie James for the recipe from her book, “Jam, Jelly and Relish” which is packed full of seasonal recipes. Whilst totally delicious, served with water and ice, Ghillie also has a great recipe for a cocktail, using the cordial, which has now become a favourite sundowner!



  • Approx 50 Elderflower heads (shaken to remove any creatures, don’t wash)
  • 1.8 kg granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons – zest and juice
  • 50g Citric acid (available from chemists or online)
  • Muslin cloth or similar


  • Put the sugar in a large non-metallic container and pour over 1.5 litres boiling. Stir to dissolve.
  • Add lemon juice and zest, elderflower head and citric acid. Stir, cover with clean tea towel and leave overnight.
  • (I didn’t read the recipe property and put everything in together and then poured over the boiling water and it worked.)
  • Just before bottling, sterilise glass bottles by washing in warm water or putting through the dishwasher and then putting in an oven at 120C for 15 minutes.
  • Line a sieve/colander with the muslin cloth and pour the liquid through into another bowl. Squeezing all the goodness from the cloth into the liquid.
  • Pour the cordial into the warm sterilized bottles (3/4 full if freezing) and seal.
  • If using immediately, it is fine to be left at room temp but store other bottles in the fridge for 6 months or indefinitely in the freezer.