After enjoying the elderflower champagne made earlier in the month and reading the appreciative comments it attracted I was reminded of another elderflower drink that is just as easy to make and a lot more stable – elderflower cordial.

Rummaging through my “brewing bag of tricks”which has been sadly neglected over the past couple of years I was delighted to find this hand written sheet, given to me by my Homebrew Guru, Richard Burns – Proprietor of Cheers Winemaking and Brewing Sutton, which gives the method used and lists ingredients for making elderflower cordial.

Elderflower Cordial Recipe

By mid June any remaining elderflowers were due to quickly disappear and a forecast of poor weather meant time was of the essence to gather the required number of elderflower heads and a furtive trip around the hedgerows of Bovey Tracey delivered the

For this recipe it suggests:

  • 20 – 30 Elderflower Heads – (snip off heavy green stalks)
  • 3 pints cold water
  • 2 ½ to 3 lb sugar (depending on your taste)
  • 50 grams Tartaric Acid
  • 1 0r 2 lemons thinly sliced

Three steps to make elderflower cordial

  1. Mix all together in plastic bucket
  2. Leave 24 to 48 hours stirring now and then
  3. Strain into bottles

The cordial is ready to use immediately but will freeze in suitable containers.

What I love about this recipe is the vague quantities and the apologies for hand writing that is typical of Richard.


Here’s a nice looking shandy that uses elderflower cordial.

And here is a video that sort of follows the method of making elderflower cordial above: