Elderflower Cordial Recipe

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This homemade elderflower cordial recipe is the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of spring.

I don’t know what the groundhog said this year but spring is coming, I promise you! This elderflower cordial recipe is such a great way to celebrate it.

I’ll admit it I hate winter. It is why I avoid it and try to spend most of my time in the Caribbean. 

But there is nothing like celebrating warm days in March and April.

There is an excitement when you see people are out on patios wearing shorts – at temperatures far too cold.

And I am so happy summer is coming.

I’m sure the rest of the world would think we’re insane. Except maybe the Finnish – they are also crazy like Canadians.

Elderflower on table

I didn’t grow up with elderflower. Maybe five years ago I came home to an amazing citrus smell I couldn’t pinpoint. It was almost like lemon zest.

I’ve never had elderflower but quickly learned it’s a flower of a tree used to make wine and cordial – which is perfect for elderflower cordial cocktails!

EASY RECIPE: Rhubarb Cordial

And while I’m not a huge fan of flowery cocktail recipes this elderflower cordial recipe is amazing with a bit of vodka and cranberry juice or just soda.

The citric acid is also fantastic in a Moscow Mule. For a non-alcoholic treat you can add elderflower cordial to sparkling water and lemons.

Cordial made with elderflower in a mason jar

What is a Cordial Anyway?

Everything is new again and while the word cordial make me think of lazy days in Savannah, Georgia (despite never having visited) it’s actually found around the world.

However, cordial doesn’t have the same meaning everywhere in the world. In the US it’s an alcoholic syrup, often a liqueur.

However in Europe and other regions of the world it’s a simple syrup and is non-alcoholic.

This elderflower cordial is of the European kind. But being North American my first thought was to add vodka and cranberry to it.

This is a quick and easy elderflower cordial recipe that is fantastic as a cranberry cocktail.

The History of Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower cordial can be traced back to the Romans and it has been very popular in Victorian times.

Now it’s a specialty drink but is very popular in Austria, Germany, Hungary and Romania. In many cases it’s been used as herbal medicine.

Learn how to make elderflower cordial, perfect to add with a bit of cranberry for a spring cocktail

Where to Find Elderflowers

As it’s the flower of an elder tree the blossom season begins in May and can run through July.

The smell is almost like a honey blossom and it’s important to get them young and freshly picked when they are the most fragrant as they will turn bitter, just like their leaves.

If you’re out spring foraging look for elderflower heads that are neither green nor brown. Make sure you smell them, if they smell bitter like the leaves you are sure to have a bitter cordial.

elderflower bushes growing next to farm land

You can find elderflower cordial in specialty stores, make sure to read the bottle as there are many mass producers who use elderflower “flavouring” which is cheaper and not as good.

However, it’s really easy to make at home and because of the high sugar content it keeps for a very long time.

The cordial is made by steeping the flower heads in a concentrated sugar solution so the flavour is infused into the syrup.

Elderflower cordial cocktail in a champagne class with lemon slices

Easy Cocktails to Make With Elderflower Cordial

  • You can mix elderflower cordial with sparkling wine and add mint for a bright twist on a mimosa.
  • Elderflower fizz: Add it to a traditional white wine spritzer.
  • If you’re more interesting in spirits elderflower cordial is a great addition to whiskey, bourbon and bitters. 
This is a quick and easy elderflower cordial recipe that is fantastic as a cranberry cocktail or club soda. You won't believe how easy it is to make.

Maybe it’s too soon to announce that spring is around the corner but this drink reminds me that warmer times are coming.

Cordial made with Elderflower in a shallow glass and a slice of lemon

Elderflower Cordial

Yield: 50 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 20 minutes

This homemade elderflower cordial recipe is the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of spring.


  • 6 cups water
  • 2 kilograms sugar
  • 3 lemons sliced
  • 100 grams elderflower


  1. Gently rinse the elderflowers to remove any dirt, leaves or impurities.
  2. Bring water to a boil, add sugar and allow to cool.
  3. In large container add water, top with lemon slices then elderflower.
  4. Cover and leave for 24 hours at room temperature.
  5. The next day strain and add to sterilized jars.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 50 Serving Size: 1 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 0gSugar: 40gProtein: 0g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although BaconisMagic.ca attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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This is a quick and easy elderflower cordial recipe that is fantastic as a cranberry cocktail or club soda. You won't believe how easy it is to make.

Additional images: Elderflower bushes (c) Mark Peate, elderflower on table (c) Elisabet.s

Join the Conversation

  1. This Elderflower drink looks fantastic!

  2. Wow this looks amazing.

    I will have try it once.

    It will look impressive when I invite guests.


  3. Valen-Eating The Globe says:

    My grandmother actually used to make this. Now, you make me want to give it a try. Beautiful!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It was surprisingly so easy to make and it’s great to take to a party.

  4. So how much water is ad dad after you have put 6 cups of water already?

  5. In Romania is called “socata” from “soc” = elderberry. The process is very easy: In a big jar (around 5liters) filled with lukewarm water, we add sugar, a sliced lemon, yeast, and the flowers to infuse. We put the jar in a warm place, under the direct sunlight. And we wait a few days. Et voila!

  6. I love Elderflower drinks, probably because of the time I spent living in Hungary and Germany. Just reading your post made me smile.

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