Monday, 9 May 2011

Elderflower season is upon us.

I love elderflower cordial, and I love even more making something this simple in large quantities for my home use when I would have to buy it for about £2.50 for 750 ml in the supermarket.

Last year was the first time I made it, and I had enough stored in the freezer that I have only just finished the last bottle now. This year, with a house move on the horizon, I thought I would try making it to store outside of the freezer so that I can move it with me to my new address when the time comes.

There is a bewildering array of recipes out there, some harder than others, but all close in their actual ingredients and methods. This is the one that I am going to try using this year.


·         30 elderflower heads
·         1.7litres/3 pints boiling water
·         900g/2lb caster sugar
·         50g/2oz citric acid (available from chemists)
·         2 unwaxed oranges, sliced
3 unwaxed lemons, sliced

Preparation method

1.    Gently rinse over the elderflowers to remove any dirt or little creatures.
2.    Pour the boiling water over the sugar in a very large mixing bowl. Stir well and leave to cool.
3.    Add the citric acid, the orange and lemon slices, and then the flowers.
4.    Leave in a cool place for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
8 teaspoons of sugar
4 pints of boiling water.

Scald the barely with boiling water and then strain. Place in a bowl with the lemon peel and sugar and pour over 4 pints of boiling water. Cover and leave to go cold. Pour slowly into a jug leaving behind the sediment rather than straining it. Bottle up and keep in the fridge. Dilute to taste.


  1. I have made the barley water and it is so refreshingly tasty also the champagne elderflower juice. This latter concoction was too volatile to keep for very long because it was so gassy and I kept having to let the carbon out regularly to keep them from blowing up. Hence would probably not put this stuff in the lovely glass grolsh type bottles again. Will try with great interest the cordial though as I would like to try making a lasting quantity without the fear and hassle of losing an eye or finger. Let us know how you get on with the champs, goodluck ;-)

  2. I bet I am too late to start foraging around for elderflowers? :-/