Homemade Elderflower Cordial Recipe
Late May - June is Elderflower time!
Elderflower cordial in the shops is expensive and can be a bit sickly sweet. This homemade recipe makes great cordial and, with the use of Camden tablets your cordial will stay fresh for a long time.
We also have a recipe for Elderflower Champagne (we call it "pop").
You can pick flowers from Elder you find in country hedging or you can grow your own Elder easily enough. Having three or four mature bushes around will give you enough flowers to keep a large family in elderflower cordial all year.
This is our family Elderflower cordial recipe (we also think it's the best - you can tell us what you think in the comments below!).
You will need:
- 35 fresh elder flower heads – always pick the sweet smelling ones (which tend to be a bit buttery in colour and which do not drop petals when shaken)
- 2 oranges, rough sliced
- 2 lemons, also rough sliced
- 2oz tartaric or citric acid – we prefer citric which makes for a more lemony taste, but some of our friends like tartaric. You can buy either from a shop that sells winemaking stuff and you can get citric acid from your local chemist.
- 3 pints boiling water
- 3lb granulated sugar, (if you are worried about your sugar intake, you can use the equivalent of granulated Splenda (it is very light so follow the instructions which substitute volume for weight….)
- 1 Camden tablet per gallon of cordial (winemakers also use these, they kill the natural yeasts on the elder flowers and allow you to store the cordial for years without it going fizzy).
- Large plastic containers, big enough to hold your batch of cordial.
- Glass or food grade plastic bottles with airtight caps.
- A Siphon tube.
- J-cloths or wine filtering fabric.
- A large sieve.
- Boil the water and dissolve the sugar in it. Allow it to cool properly.
- Add the orange and lemon slices to the cool sugar water.
- Stir in and make sure the tartaric or citric acid is dissolved.
- Add the elder flower heads.
- Cover it up with a lid or cloth (we like to use a 5 gallon (25 litre) home winemaking plastic barrels) and leave it for 48-72 hours.
- Strain the mixture and leave for another 48 hours.
- We then siphon it all to another container, leaving the sediment/dregs behind, and then we add 1 crushed Camden tablet per gallon of cordial.
- Shake well, and then leave for 3-4 hours to settle.
- Bottle, leaving behind any more dregs.
- If you don’t want to use two large containers, then you will need to add a crushed Camden tablet at the rate of 1 per gallon (1/2 a tablet to a 4 pint milk container for example) and carefully siphon directly into that. Shake the bottle well after you have filled it and do the top up tightly. Shake it again an hour or two later to make sure the tablet has dissolved. It will then keep for ages - as in years.
Always use sterilised bottles:
- Microwave – 2-3 minutes should kill anything.
- Oven - put glass bottles into your cold oven. Run it up to about 140C, keep it there for 10-15 minutes and then leave it to cool.
- You can also use Milton or just boiling hot water.
How long you can store your cordial:
- With no acids or tablets - 3-4 weeks in the fridge. Freeze in plastic bottles for longer storage.
- With the citric or tartaric acid it will keep for 3-4 months in the fridge.
- With the Camden tablets, elderflower cordial keeps almost indefinitely in a cool, dark place.
Dilute the cordial to taste (about 1:5) and Enjoy
Elderflower Cordial Recipe by
Frances Bosdari is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
For permissions beyond the scope of this license please contact us