Elderflower cordial

Heather made 20 litres of the stuff the other day, it must be good. Here's how she did it;


May has to be my favourite time of year in Wales; a long and cold winter is rewarded by warmer weather and ferns and wild flowers shoot up in the hedgerows. Before we know it, May becomes June, and dotted around the farm the elderfowers are in full bloom. My sister in law, Beth Robinson (has made elderflower cordial for years, and has shown me the ropes over the last two seasons. We pick the flowers with the children, they help us with the stirring, and a few days later we bottle the cordial and share a jug around everyone here. We make 20 litres but it never lasts long. Have a go yourself; be quick whilst the flowers last!



5l boiling water

5kg granulated sugar

150g citric acid

1 campden tablet

10 unwaxed lemons

10 limes

100 elderflower heads

14-15 clear wine/glass bottles (75cl)




Bottle brush


• Pick elderflower heads on a sunny morning to catch their aroma

• Bring water to boil in a big pan, volume will double so make sure there is plenty of room

• Turn off the heat, pour in sugar and stir until melted in

• Add citric acid and crushed up campden tablet

• Whilst the water cools, slice up lemons and limes

• You’ll know when the water is cool enough by dipping a small elderflower head into the sugar syrup and removing, if the flowers don’t turn brown you can add the lemons, limes and elderflowers

• Make sure everything is submerged, give it a stir, wrap in cling film and leave to stand for 1-2 days, stirring morning and night

• Reuse clear glass bottles; clean them with hot soapy water and a bottle brush, and then stand them on a tray

in the oven for 10-15 minutes to sterilise them

• Strain the cordial through muslin, transfer to bottles and seal with corks

• Dilute to taste with water, or use as a mixer

Heather Birnie, needs no introduction here if you are already a follower of Jwrnal. An amazing Photographer and a good friend.