Aunt Celia's Elderflower Cordial

Just under a year ago I blogged about making elderflower cordial, and from the response I got it was clear that lots of you had never made, or in one case never tasted, elderflower cordial. So this year, as I was rather more organised, I thought I would show you just how easy it is to make!

I use Aunt Celia's recipe (Aunt Celia is not my aunt, but the aunt of a family friend), for it you need;

* 20 heads of elderflower 
* 3lbs of sugar
* 2 pints of boiling water
* 2 lemons
* 2oz of citric acid

Elderflower is in season at the moment and fairly easy to find, it grows in many hedgerows and on wasteland. The citric acid can be more difficult, I got mine in an Asian supermarket.

In a large bowl pour the boiling water over the sugar, it looks like a huge amount of sugar to water, but keep stirring and it all dissolves.

De-rind of the lemon, but without taking too much of the white pith, as this is very bitter. Once the rind is off, peel off the pith and throw it away, and slice up the flesh of the lemon, and throw the rind and flesh into the water and sugar mix, with the citric acid.

Finally, add the elderflower. The heads can sometimes have some little flies on them, so you need to check for this. Some people suggest washing the heads, I tend not too, just shaking of the flies, or if the heads are very badly covered not using them. Throw the elderflower into the bowl as well, and give the mixture a good stir. Now cover it up and leave it for 24 hours.

24 hours later ....

Time to bottle up the cordial, I used some old swing-top lemonade and beer bottles, sterilised using some of the boyfriend's sterilising solution for his brewing, but you can also keep it in screw-top glass or plastic bottles. You need to strain the cordial, I use a sieve lined with a piece of muslin, and then poured it into the bottles. Warning; the cordial is very sticky, and if like me you are not very tidy, this can be a messy process!

Yippie! - three bottles full of lovely summery elderflower cordial, ready to be mixed with water and sipped on a sunny afternoon! Hum, all I need now is that sunny afternoon ...


  1. I made elderflower cordial last week too! We will be well prepared for when those sunny afternoons arrive.


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