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Celia’s Elderflower cordial

Quintessentially British, this refreshing softly perfumed cordial is simply gorgeous mixed with soda over ice or as a mixer with champagne, prosecco or cava.

The beginning of summer is the time to pluck the full creamy elderflower heads. Choose a dry day to do your foraging, never when wet. This is actually my lovely late mum’s recipe but I’ve tweaked it a little (she wouldn’t mind) it has the addition of extra lemons and limes to ramp up the tartness factor. I’m not keen on using citric acid, it scares me quite frankly!

The bottles of perfumed elixir make for beautiful and thoughtful gifts (if you can bear to part with one!)

You’ll need; a large stock pot and a piece of fine gauze or muslin.

5 sterilised wine bottles with clean corks or the flip-top kilner type.


About 30 elderflower heads

4 lemons juice and zest

2 limes juice and zest

1.5kg sugar

2 litres water

Sterile Bottles to decant into.

Forage for about 30 elderflower heads on a dry day, then spend some time picking through to ensure there are no bugs in there.

Use a potato peeler to remove the zest from all the lemons and limes, then squeeze all the juice into the stock pot, add the sugar water and the cleaned flower heads.

*Take care to snip away as much of the green elderflower stalks as possible (this imparts a bitter taste)

Bring to a rapid boil then turn off the heat, cover and leave for 24hrs to infuse.

Strain the cooled cordial through fine mesh gauze, muslin or a clean pair of tights works really well!

Bring to the boil once more for 5 minutes then decant your cordial into sterilised bottles.

Wait for the sunshine, top up your glass and drink in the summertime!

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1 Comment

Fraser Watson
Fraser Watson
Jun 05, 2020

Just great in sparkling water on these hot days.

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