Elderflower Cordial

11 May

Coming back from work yesterday l noticed the hedgerows were starting to fill with Elder flowers so l had to stop and pick some and make my all time favourite non-alcoholic drink, Elderflower Cordial.

Did you know?:

        • that animals find the smell of elder leaves so awful that even rabbits won’t eat them.
        • in years gone by people use to gather elder leaves on the last day of April and place them on their doors and windows to keep the witches away;
        • gardeners used to place the bruised leaves around tender plants to deter aphids and put a sprig in their hat to keep away midges;
        • cutting the tree for firewood will bring bad luck;
        • elderberry cordial helps relieve a sore throat;
        • elder flowers can be dipped in batter and eaten as fritters;

I use a recipe from Sarah Raven and l think it’s the best one around. This is easy, really easy and probably takes about 20 mins from start to finish, with 24 hours in between.

So first, go and pick your flowers…

Elder flower

Try not to pick flowers close to a busy road and take a sniff of the flower. Ideally they will smell of bananas but probably will have a faint whiff of cat. Don’t worry as the real fragrance comes out during the process of making the cordial. Try not to pick flowers that have started to turn brown as this will taint the drink. I trim as much of the stem off as possible before plunging them into the syrup.

Elder flowers in the syrup solution

Chop up your fruit and add to the elder flowers. Give it a good stir and leave for 24 hours.

Mixed fruits

Next, strain and pour into warmed bottles. I use old Lemonade bottles with the rubber stopper.

Straining the syrup

It’s delicious with chilled fizzy mineral water and loads of ice and lemon on a hot summer’s afternoon.

The finished product

Go on, give it a go!


Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Cooking, May


Tags: ,

6 responses to “Elderflower Cordial

  1. Janet/Plantaliscious

    May 13, 2011 at 12:16

    Mmm, looks lovely, particularly in those bottles.

    • trevorhunt

      May 13, 2011 at 20:29

      It’s delicious! You really must give it a go.

  2. Donna

    May 13, 2011 at 17:22

    What a wonderful blog that I am just discovering and so unique. I am trying to process your Blotanical application and I need you to add the Blotanical badge to your blog first. You can find it at

    Please email when you have completed the addition of the badge to your blog. Thank you.

    • trevorhunt

      May 13, 2011 at 20:28

      Thank you Donna. Badge added. Thanks for your kind words.

  3. Mal

    May 16, 2011 at 00:14

    Elderflowers already! I’ve checked here and posted a picture of the most advanced specimen I could find as part of my latest entry. Where do you get your folklore facts? I love them!

    • trevorhunt

      May 16, 2011 at 07:27

      Hi Mal, Yes l agree the elderflowers are really early and l can only put that down to the warm April we had. The folklore l already knew but some comes from a book as well. There are loads more facts as well, like the flowers being good to make into a face cleanser. I haven’t tried that one!


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