Elderflower cordial


Elderflowers on the marshes

Foraging on the Walthamstow Marshes is one of our favourite pastimes. This year the elderflowers are absolutely amazing, so aromatic and abundant. We picked two carrier bags full in only half an hour, our hands were turning yellow with the amount of pollen all over us –  but the great thing was we were stopped twice by curious folk wondering what we were picking and what we were planning to do with the flowers. We loved swapping recipes with a group from Holland.


Foraging for elderflowers

So we decided to make a simple elderflower cordial.

You need:

1 bag of elderflowers
1 kg of sugar
1.5 litres of water
3 lemons
1 orange


Pick over the flowers – shaking off the insects and trimming off the leaves and stalks. Heat the water in a large pan, add in the sugar (we used naturally unrefined sugar from the 99p shop). Dissolve the sugar, then add the elderflowers (I’ve no idea how many it was – a big bowl full) and add the zest and juice of the lemons and orange.


Adding the lemons and oranges

Cover and leave to cool and infuse for a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 5 days. Many recipes add citric acid as a preservative but we decided to go natural by relying on just the sugar and acid from the citrus fruit.

After 3 days we strained the cordial and bottled it into re-used, sterilised kilner top and screw cap bottles.


kit for bottling

We’ve made more than 5 litres. It’s not too sweet and isn’t a thick cordial that will need a lot of diluting – but we’ll be adding it to cava, sparkling water, cake and pancake batters and poured over ice-cream over the next few weeks to add a heady taste of summer.


The finished article

About walthamstowfoodies

We have a passion for good food – bought locally, cooked simply and shared with friends in Walthamstow, London and beyond
This entry was posted in Recipes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Elderflower cordial

  1. Mike says:

    Funny, I was just admiring the elderflowers from the train this morning. Is it an especially good year I wonder?


  2. You may be right. they are late this year but amazing – worth the wait.


  3. Pingback: Elderflower Power | The Botanical Baker

  4. Hat says:

    Ooo where on the marshes did you find them? We want to go tomorrow…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s