Jude Thompson's Elderflower Cordial

We used to gather elderflower from the countryside but now I pick from my own garden. I have been making this for forty years and the recipe has been shared with many friends. I sometimes add an orange, a little more sugar and make a second brew for immediate use, keep in refrigerator.


20 - 30 heads of elderflower (picked dry if possible and on a warm sunny morning)
1.5 kg granulated sugar (you can experiment with using less)
75g citric acid/or tartaric acid if preferred
2 lemons sliced (gin and tonic thickness)
1.5 litres of boiling water


Pull the creamy white flowers off the stems with a fork

Use large heatproof jug or bowl.  Put in all the ingredients. Pour on the boiling water and stir until sugar is dissolved.  

Cover with a tea towel or some muslin and leave for 24 hours.  

Strain and bottle; I use plastic bottles and freeze them.  It is very good to keep colds away in winter and makes a refreshing drink for summer days.

Pour a little cordial into a glass and top up with still or fizzy water.