Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower Cordial

My local park has an abundance of elderflowers, so I decided to have a go at making elderflower cordial.

There are loads of recipes on the Internet, and I have Pam Corbin’s fabulous ‘Preserves’ book, so I kind of meshed together a couple of recipes to make my own.

I took about 50 elderflower heads, chopped of most of the stalks, and added the zest of 3.5 quite large lemons and 1 lime (because that’s what I had!). I shook the elderflowers to remove bugs, and chucked away any that were brown.

I then sliced the lemons and lime and added them to the pot.


Then I poured about 3 litres of boiling water over the flowers they went a bit brown, so if I did it again I would let the water cool a bit first.

I then left it to steep overnight. With a tea towel over the top. 

I then strained I through a drive with pieces of kitchen paper in it. I replaced the kitchen paper a couple of times as it got quite clogged.

Look how cloudy it is. And look at what was left over….

This is it once strained. Much clearer.

I then added 2kg of sugar and 2 generous teaspoons of citric acid that I bought off the internet.

I then brought it to the boil and let if boil for a little while (10 mins?) to make sure it was nice and hot and would be better preserved (so in theory last longer)

I then decanted it into Kilner flip top bottles that I bought from Wilkinsons. The larger ones are half a litre, and the small ones quarter of a litre.  I put them through the dishwasher and then in a 150 degree oven to sterilise them (without the stoppers in the oven – I put them back on once the bottles were full).

I needed a tiny funnel for the small bottles as the necks are narrow. I guess you could use a jug, but I find funnels to helpful for filling bottles.

I didn’t have enough bottles, so I’ve put some in a jug that will go into the fridge. If you are working out how many bottles you need, just look at how much water you are adding. That will be roughly how much cordial you will get. I’m waiting for it to go cold to mix it with sparkling water, but I did taste it and it is wonderfully floral and not too sweet.

I think it’s dark because I used hot water which browned the flowers. Another time I will try the cold soaking method, and see what results I get. Have you tried the cold soaking method? How did it work out?

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