In the pink. Make elderflower cordial

What do you tend to drink when want a soft drink? I often go for an elderflower option. It’s refreshing and a little different. Why not make a delicious elderflower drink at home? It’s the perfect time to go on the hunt for the best flowers.

Beautiful pinky purple elderflower bloom
Beautiful pinky purple elderflower bloom

What truly inspired me were the flowers on the purple leaved elder (sambucus nigra) in my garden. Each time I walked past, the flowers zapped their scent my way. I just had to do something with them.  If you’ve not got access to the purple leaved elder of course the standard white flowers will do very well. But as you see, the flowers from the purple leaved elder make a fetching pink hued drink.

It’s amazing how elderflowers can differ bush to bush – even those growing next to each other. So seek out the very best. Pick ones whose scent appeals to you.

Soak the elderflowers overnight
Soak the elderflowers overnight

There are many different recipes for elderflower cordial some call for citric acid others not, some steep overnight others take a quicker method. This is my version. I wanted a good balance between the elderflower flavour and a hint of citrus. Why not experiment?

It’s really easy to make. When done, you use the cordial in a diluted form, so you could add sparkling water for a bit of fizz. Lemonade is probably a little to sweet. A good tonic would go very nicely or why not add it to a cocktail? The amount of sugar does sound excessive, but you will be diluting it. Do reduce the amount by a quarter if you prefer.

The filtered elderflower juice - what an amazing colour
The filtered elderflower juice – what an amazing colour

It’s best to drink this cordial fairly within a month or so (if it lasts that long!) You’ll need some Kilner type jars or bottles to store the mixture.

Pink Elderflower Cordial Recipe


15-20 elderflower heads either standard white or from a purple leaved elder
1 litre water
1 large lemon sliced
1 kilo granulated sugar

  1. Make sure you have no bugs in the flowers. Give them a good shake. Place them in a large bowl with the sliced lemon.
  2. Boil the water and pour over the flowers. Leave overnight.
  3. Remove the sliced lemon and set aside.
  4. Remove the flowers and discard.
  5. Strain the liquid through a jelly bag placed in a sieve if you have one or kitchen paper.
  6. Place the sugar in a large saucepan. Add the liquid and the sliced lemon.
  7. Heat slowly at first to dissolve the sugar.
  8. Let the mixture come to the boil and boil for ten minutes.
  9. When it has cooled slightly, strain again into suitable containers. Seal.
  10. Keep in a cool place or the fridge and use diluted in drinks and desserts. Try to use within one month.

    The elderflower cordial. Isn't it pretty?
    The elderflower cordial. Isn’t it pretty?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sara says:

    I love making and drinking elderflower cordial but I’ve never seen the purple kind. It looks so pretty! I’m thinking it would go very nicely in a glass of prosecco too!

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