Ingredients (makes approximately 1.5 litres)

20 heads of nice, fresh elderflowers (not picked by a busy road). Leave ‘creamy coloured’ heads to mature to berries for later wine making.

1.8 kg granulated sugar, or caster sugar

1.5 litres water

2 unwaxed lemons

75 g citric acid



large bowl


cloth (to cover the bowl)

fine straining bag




1. Shake the elderflowers to expel any lingering insects, and then place in a large bowl.

2. Put the sugar into a pan with the water and bring up to the boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.

3. While the sugar syrup is heating, pare the zest of the lemons off in wide strips and toss into the bowl with the elderflowers. Slice the lemons, discard the ends, and add the slices to the bowl.

4. Pour over the boiling syrup and then stir in the citric acid.

5. Cover with a cloth and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

6. Next, strain the cordial through a fine straining bag, and pour into thoroughly cleaned glass or plastic bottles. Screw on the lids and keep in cool dark place.

(If desired, Campden tablets may be added to preserve your cordial for longer.  Follow the guidance on the bottle.)

To serve, dilute to taste with still or fizzy mineral water or lemonade.