Make Your Own Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower is in full bloom here at the moment. When I walk the dog on the regular route, there are a few large ones that I pass. If you would close your eyes, you can tell that there’s one very near. The smell is so gorgeous and intense!

In order to capture that smell for a little bit, I decided to make elderflower cordial again this year. Se we went out and picked the necessary amount of flower heads (making sure that not all of them were from one bush, but dividing it a little bit).

Back home I have put them in the largest pan that I could find in my kitchen, adding lemons and water. You leave that for a few days at room temperature. Then you strain the liquid, add the sugar and bring it to a boil. Put the syrup in sterilised bottles and you’re set!

So, you are prepared for hot summer days now. You can cool down in a very delicious kind of way by using the cordial in a refreshing drink. Just put a little bit of syrup in a large glass, add still or sparkling water, ice, some lime and a few mint leaves. For the luxurious version, replace (a part of) the water with dry white wine or prosecco. Cheers!

While in the cordial-making-flow, I decided to make some rhubarb cordial as well. It’s rhubarb season as well after all. And I really love rhubarb at least equally as much as I love elderflower. I never made rhubarb cordial before, so I started browsing Pinterest. I used this recipe by Helen of A Bookish Baker. In her post she included a recipe for a good rhubarb crumble using the leftovers of the cordial. The crumble leftovers were great to use for breakfast the next day too. A great no-waste recipe!

Don’t you love the beautiful colour of the rhubarb syrup? I honestly had not expected it to become so pink when I looked in the pan during cooking!

I couldn’t resist making a few labels for the bottles!

One more thing I have to show you before giving you the recipe of the elderflower cordial… When I was taking photos of the bottles filled with syrup, a bumblebee was keeping me company in the nearby lavender plants. I managed to take a few detailed photos. I think they are really beautiful!

So here is the recipe! Give it a go and enjoy!





Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower cordial is a delicious syrup with a sweet and floral taste. Use it with still or sparkling water or prosecco for a luxurious drink. Add a bit of ice, some lime wedges and a few mint leaves if you like and you have a perfect summer drink! Cheers!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 2 litres


  • 30 heads elderflower
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 2 kg white caster sugar
  • 2 litres water


  • Take out a large pan or casserole with a lid and fill it with 2 litres of hand-warm water
  • Put in the flower heads without the stalks, removing any insects when you see them
  • Cut the lemons in slices and add to the pan
  • Put the lid on and leave for 3 days at room temperature. You can stir every now and then (and inhale the lovely flowery smell!)
  • After 3 days, strain the liquid through a sieve lined with a fine cloth (a piece of muslin for example, I use a clean, old and plain piece of a t-shirt). Repeat if necessary and put the liquid in a clean pan
  • Put the pan on medium heat and add the sugar. Keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved and bring the liquid to a boil
  • Let it boil for a minute. Be careful, it's hot! Fill the syrup into sterilised bottles and leave to cool


The high amount of sugar in this cordial makes it sweet and long-lasting. Store unopened bottles in a dark and cool place. Once opened keep your cordial in the fridge.
I sterilise my bottles by filling them up with boiling water. I explain it here.
Drink the cordial diluted with water (still or sparkling), a dry white wine or prosecco. You can add a few mint leaves, some ice and a piece of lime as well!
I really like to use the syrup in a salad dressing as well (combine with mustard, apple vinegar, Provencal herbs and olive oil).

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