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Elderflower cordial

by Sarah Alcock

Jason King's from the Wellington Arms lovely elderflower cordial recipe:

To serve
As a drink mix about 4 parts sparkling or freshly drawn water to 1 part cordial in a tall glass, with a wedge of lime, a sprig of mint and lots of ice. Or pour over vanilla ice cream or red berries as delicious syrup.

Note: Your cordial will last much longer if you use tartaric acid. During the spring we make many bottles of cordial to use throughout the year. Without the acid your cordial will ferment within a month.


  • 40 elderflower heads (pick them in the morning before the bees get them)
  • 1.4kg granulated sugar
  • zest and juice of 3 lemons and 2 oranges
  • tartaric acid (optional, you can get it from the chemist)


  1. Check the elderflowers, removing any bugs, leaves or brown bits.
  2. Put the flowers into a large bowl, cover with about 1 litre of boiling water, and add lemon and orange zest. Cover and leave overnight in a cool spot.
  3. Strain the liquid in a fine sieve; squeeze the pulp to extract all juice.
  4. Measure the amount of flower liquid and to every 550ml liquid, add 375g sugar, 60ml lemon juice and a teaspoon of tartaric acid (if using).
  5. Warm in a saucepan to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and skim off any scum.
  6. Allow the cordial to cool, and then strain through the muslin or a brand-new J cloth.
  7. Store the cordial in screw-top bottles or with corks. Or freeze in batches in plastic containers.

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