How to make elderflower cordial

posted in: Nature recipes | 0

Have you ever wanted to try making your own elderflower cordial? There is something so unique and refreshing about it – for me, it’s like summer in a glass!

Every year, my mum Lucy makes her famous elderflower cordial. She braves the bramble and gorse to forage some of the best elderflowers on our farm, filling the kitchen with the gorgeous scents of elderflower, lemon, and honey as she turns these into a delicious syrup we enjoy for the rest of the summer as an extra treat for those who come along to our craft workshops.

Read below for a simple how-to, and if you try this yourself, please share the results via email or Instagram, we’d LOVE to see what you make!

Step 1: Forage for elderflowers

Elderflowers grow on one of Ireland’s most well-known native trees, the elder (Tromán in Irish). You’ve probably seen it growing near your home, with its distinct craggy bark and beautiful bunches of frothy white flowers in spring.

You’ll want to pick about 20 elderflower heads (bunches of flowers) – choose fresh, recently flowered heads rather than older ones (which will be yellow).

Step 2: Preparing the flowers

Discard the stalks and gently rinse the elderflower heads in a basin of cold water.

Step 3: Making the syrup base

Place the sugar and honey in a large saucepan with 1.5 liters of water. Gently bring to the boil until the sugar has melted, then remove from the heat.

Step 4: Adding lemon

Grate the zest from the lemons and add to the mix, then slice the lemons and add them and the citric acid to the mix as well.

Step 5: Infusing the elderflowers

Shake off excess water and add the flowers to the mix, flower heads down. Cover and leave to infuse for 24 hours.

Step 6: Straining and bottling

Sterilize your bottles (we use old wine bottles), allow to cool, and re-seal.

Strain the syrup through muslin and then pour it into the bottles.

Step 7: Storing & enjoying

Store in the fridge. Enjoy diluted with water, 1 part syrup to 5 parts water (you can adjust the ratio to your preference). The syrup can also be added to prosecco!

PS. Elder has so many other uses too! From making jelly from the berries in autumn, to making charcoal pencils (like we do in our Art in the Wild workshop) and the leaves and flowers make stunning impressions in silver clay (like we use in our Jewellery Inspired by Nature workshops)! You can even make whistles and beads from the wood of elder, due to their hollow branches!

Silver ring made from elderflower
Charcoal elder pencil

So, there you have it—your crash course in making your own elderflower cordial! I hope this has inspired you to get out there, explore nature, and embrace your inner creative spirit. And please do share your results with us on our Instagram page, we’d LOVE to see what you create!

And if you’d like to learn many more ways you can be creative in nature, check out our craft workshops!

Happy crafting!

~ Sophie