The BEST elderflower cordial recipe you will ever need! Perfect for summer barbecues, light cakes or for a flavoured sugar kick.
It’s summertime again, which can mean only one thing – elderflowers coming into bloom. I’m lucky enough that Andy‘s parents live on a farm in the New Forest, with a very big elderflower tree in the fields – so free elderflower for me! Elderflower trees are relatively easy to spot, almost look like a blossom tree but with the flowers being in small clumps rather than all over. Give the flowers a smell and you’ll immediately know if you’ve got the right tree! Check with your local council if it’s okay for you to harvest some flowers – make sure you don’t get into trouble, and for the love of God don’t go stealing your neighbours flowers unless you promise half of your produce from this recipe 😉
Elderflower is one of Andy and I’s favourite flavours, it tastes so summery and fresh. Andy’s mum has always made her own elderflower cordial and I’ve always been curious to make it but never have. Over the weekend she told me to take some flowers as the tree was looking rather full of flowers and I decided to give it a whirl. After numerous searches over the internet and pinterest I finally managed to combine a few recipes to give the final result (most recipes are pretty much the same though!)
So here it is, my elderflower cordial recipe:
2 1/4 Pints of water (I used filtered for an extra clean taste as we have pretty hard water here in the south)
1.5kg sugar – caster sugar is preferred but granulated works just fine.
3 unwaxed lemons, thinly sliced
40g citric acid
20-30 heads of elderflower
- Firstly pour the water into a large pan, it may not look like much but once you’ve added the ingredients it will fill up!
- Then add the sugar, heat on a low heat and stir continuously until the sugar is completely dissolved. The water should be almost clear, but not crystal.
- Once you’ve checked for the sugar to be completely dissolved, turn up the heat until it starts to boil. I usually go up in 2 increments. Start on a 6, then up to 8 and eventually 10 after a few minutes. You really don’t want to whack it on a high heat in case it burns the sugar and you’ll end up with a caramelised mixture!
- When the liquid is finally boiling, quickly add in the elderflower and bring up to the boil again (it will only take a few seconds). Then immediately take it off the heat and on a heatproof mat.
- Add in the sliced lemons and 40g of citric acid (the citric acid is vital for it to work – you can’t substitute this stage!)
- Give it a stir and cover with a towel.
- Once cooled, store in a cool place to steep. For best results leave it to steep for 24-48 hours for a really strong taste. Don’t steep for less than 15 hours.
- Once the mixture has had chance to steep, pour over a sieve and muslin cloth into another pan.
- Transer the cordial into plastic or glass bottles and store in the fridge. Once opening the bottles, use within a week. If it’s too much for you to use up in a week, pour into a plastic bottle and store in the freezer – it’ll last for 6 months and simply defrost when you need more. Pouring it into ice cube moulds is another good idea for a cool summer drink!
Dilute with water for a refreshing drink, or mix with tonic water or lemonade. You can also use this cordial in recipes too – look out for my elderflower and lemon cupcakes tutorial coming soon!
Please do let me know if you try this recipe! It tastes gorgeous and so worth the time and effort into making it!