Elderflower Cordial

Nov 27, 2022

This cordial recipe is refreshingly sweet. Perfect for a refreshing hot day thirst quencher.

My children can spot an elderflower bush in full bloom – road side – anywhere between Otematata and Oamaru. They are pretty much a weed down here in the South Island. The girls have their eyes zoomed in, as they love to pick the blooms and help cut up the fruit to make cordial.

This cordial recipe will last up to 3 months in the fridge. Or simply place in the freezer for up to 12 months.

What ingredients will l need?
Citric Acid
Elderflower blooms

What Equipment will I need?
A large pot or jam pan
Muslin cloth and sieve
Clean sterilised bottles (you choose the size)

I like to keep glass bottles with screw lids when I buy a cold drink at a cafe. I keep the bottle for making gifts. Otherwise any glass bottle with a screw lid will be able to be used.

How do I sterilise a bottle?
Simply wash you bottles in clean soapy water and drain.
Preheat the oven to 160 degree Celsius. Place the bottles into the oven and heat for 15 minutes or until completely dry.
Carefully remove the bottles one at a time and pour the syrup into the bottles.
Because the syrup is cold they will not seal. But will last up to three months in the fridge of 12 months in the freezer.

How do I freeze the cordial?
Pour the cordial into the bottles leaving a gap of 3-4cm at the top. This allows the cordial to expand when frozen and won’t break the seal of the lid.

What can I do with the waste fruit?
Save the lemons and oranges from this recipe to make Elderflower marmalade.

Elder Flower Cordial

This sweet refreshing recipe will make up to 2 litres of cordial.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 day


  • 1 large pot or jam pan
  • 1 sieve
  • 1 muslin cloth
  • glass bottle with screw lids
  • 1 clean tea towel


  • 20 Elderflower flower heads
  • 1.5 kg white sugar
  • 1.2 l water
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 oranges (or add 2 extra lemons)
  • 50 grams citric acid


  • Prepare the flower heads by removing as much stalk as you can. Place them into a bucket of cold water and swish them gently about to remove any bugs and dirt. Place on a dry tea towel while you prepare the cordial.
  • Wash and thinly slice the lemons and oranges (if you have no oranges you could use simply lemons).
  • Place the sugar and water into the large pot. Bring to the boil (or until all the sugar has dissolved).
  • Place the flower heads into the syrup and bring back to the boil. Once it begins to boil – take off the heat.
  • Add the lemons, oranges and citric acid, stir and cover with a clean tea towel.
  • Leave the cordial to steep for 24 hours before straining. Place a muslin cloth over a sieve. Strain the cordial through the cloth into a large bowl or measuring jug). Do not squeeze the muslin cloth contents. Allow it to drip.
  • Pour into the sterilised bottles.


If you do not have any citric acid you could substitute it for the following suggestions:
12.5 grams of tartaric acid
200 grams of white vinegar.

If you would like to make more Elderflower recipes. Check out these other suggestions.

Elderflower infused gin

Elder flower infused vodka

Elderflower marmalade