Elderflower Cordial

the hedgerows and fields and woods are full of Elder - just bursting into flower now in my area - Revel in the Tarn 81… time to get making elderflower cordial - incredibly easy - costs next to nothing - and will bring joy to all!


dilute 10 / 1 to drink - fizzy or still water, lots of ice

2kg caster sugar

2 litres boiling water

40ish heads of elderflower (in flower)

2 lemons sliced

90g citric acid

dissolve the sugar in the water. mix all the rest of the ingrediants in a bowl (or a clean bucket!)

put in a cool place - garage? or shed? but not the fridge.

stir daily for 5 days.

strain (ideally through muslin, but a sieve will do)

bottle in small plastic bottles and freeze…

it keeps for 7-10 days in the fridge, but if you freeze it you can enjoy it the whole year round…

nothing nicer than elderflower cordial and champagne on a beautiful autumn evening


I notice you are renovating a cottage in Sussex. I hail from Mid-Sussex - between Haywards Heath & East Grinstead - whereabouts is yours ?

Here they dip the wonderful acacia blossom in batter, so more flowers, less batter! I was wondering whether tempura batter could be used to make the whole dish less heavy. Unfortunately I spent too much time thinking about it and most of the flowers are over this year!

thanks for the citric acid tip debbie… we’ve tried and failed miserably to make elderflower fizz, but i have made an elderflower mousse - where you steep the flower heads in milk… which was quite a palaver but really unusual

P.S. You can buy Citric Acid from the Pharmacy in powder form in a paper bag !

Oh yes, I made this last year & wish I had done more - it is great for Vit C in the Winter to ward off colds & flu. I’m going to make lots more and maybe some Elderflower Champagne too, and Elderflower sorbet. I believe the French deep-fry the flower heads in batter - sounds a bit fattening to me… Also picked some roses and put a stem of elderflower in the display as the fluffy flowers looked like gypsophilia (but cheaper !) and the perfume just filled the sitting room - so that’s a nice way to freshen a room too…

Thanks Tricia! - that’s a totally different recipe isn’t it - really interesting - i’ll have a go and ‘lay some down’ for next year…

French advice here in 82 is don’t use hot water, it reduces the scent/flavour. You can use 100gms of acide citrique and leave out lemons. Put flowers and citric acid in water for 24 hrs. Strain to remove flowers and mix in sugar. Stir occasionally for 2 - 3 days until sugar is dissolved (any sugar will do).
Put in sterilised glass bottles with screw tops, no need to freeze and will keep for years. Keep for 2 months before drinking; if you can wait 12 months it’s better, so they say.

thanks jill - but i’m going to be no help what so ever… i’ve only lived in france for 4 weeks! every year my husband gets elderflower spotting fever - it’s the taste of summer for us and so much earlier here than in sussex - so i bought muslin and citric acid with me…
a pair of tights will do fine for the sieving, and i presume it’s l’acide citric ? i might try tomorrow in the chemist here - i’ve found it online in france at
but it’s a kilo minimum. i’ll buy some i think so let me know if you struggle finding it…

Brilliant, I am in Brittany, and I noticed yesterday lots of Elderflowers nearly ready, 2 questions, what is citric acid in French and do you buy it in Pharmacies or supermarkets, and where do you buy muslin in France?