Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Elderflower cordial

Prep time overnight
Cook time overnight
Makes about 3-4 litres
Dietary Vegetarian
From Mary Berry Cooks
Elderflower cordial is fun to make if you have easy access to elderflower trees and the flowers which arrive in the early summer. The cordial will keep for 2-3 months in the fridge.


  1. Put the sugar and 1.5 litre/3lb 5oz water into a large pan. Bring to the boil, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool.

  2. Slice the lemons thinly. Put into a large plastic box or a bucket.

  3. Add the elderflower heads to the lemons with the citric acid and the Campden tablets. (CAUTION: Campden tablets produce an irritant gas if inhaled. Keep your face well back from the mixture.) Pour over the cooled sugar syrup. Cover and leave overnight or up to a couple of days.

  4. Sieve and strain through muslin into sterilised bottles and store in the fridge. To serve, dilute to taste with still or sparkling water.


  • 1.5kg/3lb 5oz caster sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • about 25 heads elderflowers
  • 50g/1¾oz citric acid
  • 2 Campden tablets

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Elderflower cordial

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