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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Elderflower Cordial

There really is a cordial for all seasons.
Now is the time of the Elderflower. Large heads of tiny white flowers are blooming now.
 Elderflower cordial is like drinking flowers. It is like taking Spring into your body.
It reminds me of fairies and Shakespeare's "Midsummer Nights' Dream"

The most potent blooms are the ones half in bud and half blossomed, they'll be quite fresh.
Don't harvest every bloom as you want to save some for forming into berries for later in the season.

To make about 6lt:
Harvest about 50-60 heads. Shake them gently to remove insects.
Remove most of the stem and place in a large vessel.
Add the zest of about 9 lemons
Pour over 4.5 lt of boiling water and allow to steep overnight.
Strain through a muslin lined strainer into a large pot and add the juice from the zested lemons (about 450ml) and add 3 heaped tsp of citric acid.
Add 3 kg of sugar and stir over a gentle heat till dissolved.
Gently heat till the cordial comes to 70 C. Don't be tempted to rush this step and use high heat because you want to maintain a beautiful golden colour.
While the cordial is heating, place thoroughly cleaned bottles into the oven at 150C and allow to heat for about 10 min to sterilise.
Once the cordial has come to temperature, bottle into the warm sterilised bottles and seal.
This will keep for many months if you can make it last that long.
Once opened store in the refrigerator.
Serve on warm spring nights and hot summer days with ice and sparkling water.


  1. Mr. Boom just bought a CO2 tank. He's carbonating everything in sight, lots of it tasting REALLY nasty. I bet this would taste great, though! Craig needs a CO2 tank, and I'm sure he'd back me up on this :~)

  2. Oh yes, I must get out to my elder bush and produce some of this deliciousness!! In Europe you can buy several different brands of elderflower syrup and i was hoping to make some this year! Thanks for reminding me!!

  3. Photos look great Tanya.... bet the cordial tastes as good as it looks!

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  5. Thankyou for the recipe Tanya - we are watching our gorgeous flowers bloom too and wondering if we should make cordial or let them all fruit... decisions, decisions... will let you know if we make your cordial :) x

    1. Thanks Tanya. The Munchkin and I spent the last few days making cordial and it is scrummy! It is amazing how many plants/trees we are now spotting around our neighbourhood... obviously there have been some busy birds over the 60 year history of our suburb!

    2. You are a gem. Thanks for the blossom today and it was so lovely to meet you. What fun, hope you and the little one had a day full of adventure xxx

  6. Do you have your own elderflower plants growing in the garden? Do they grow wild I wonder.
    Hugh from 'River Cottage' often refers to elderflowers.
    This cordial sounds delicious.

  7. olá Tanya
    encantador teu blog
    as fotos lindissimas
    a tua vida compartilhada aqui
    adoro ver culturas de outros paises
    tudo lindo

  8. We just made a big batch early this week which is been drunk down very quickly! I have another lot in a big bowl tonight to finish tomorrow and bottle for Christmas. You mentioned leeting some go to seed. WHat do you do with the seed?

  9. Sarah, I'm guessing elder berry wine! My BIL in Somerset makes a lot of fruit country wines and his best are made from elder berries. Very palatable indeed :)

  10. We made elder flower cordial to a different recipe this week, so delicious and different to anything I've ever tasted. The birds are fierce on the berries here so its good to make use of the flowers.

  11. Alright then... looks like I'm going to read up about growing elder flower!


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