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Elderflower cordial recipe: How to make elderflower cordial at home

Elderflower cordial is a soft drink with strong Victorian heritage. Although it is also produced and sold commercially, elderflower cordial can be made relatively easily at home. Express.co.uk takes you through one recipe from BBC Good Food.


  • 2,5 kg white sugar either granulated or caster
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 20 fresh elderflower heads, stalks trimmed
  • 85g citric acid (from chemists)


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How to make elderflower cordial

  • Step one

Put the sugar and 1.5 litres of water into the largest saucepan you have.

Carefully heat, without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved, while frequently giving it a stir.

Pare the zest from the lemons using a potato peeler, then slice the lemons into rounds.

  • Step two

Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the pan of syrup to the boil, then turn off the heat.

Fill a washing up bowl with cold water and give the flowers a gentle swish around to loosen any dirt or bugs.

Lift flowers out, gently shake and transfer to the syrup along with the lemons, zest and citric acid, then stir well.

Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 24 hours.

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  • Step three

Line a colander with a clean tea towel, then sit it over a large bowl or pan.

Ladle in the syrup – let it drip slowly through and discard the bits left in the towel.

Use a funnel and a ladle to fill sterilised bottles.

The cordial is ready to drink straight away and will keep in the fridge for up to six weeks.

Another option is to freeze it in plastic containers or ice cube trays and defrost as needed.

Is elderflower good for you?

Depending on the type of elderflower drink you make or purchase, the serving sizes and exact nutrition facts vary.

Elderflower teas and cordial are traditionally used in herbal medicine of Bulgaria and the ex-Yugoslavia region.

The most common uses are for colds and flu, sinus infections and other respiratory disturbances.

As a supplement, elderflower also has diuretic and laxative properties, and is helpful in relieving constipation.

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