Elderberry Cordial

elderberry flowers

I really inspiring friend Colleen gave me a taste of her amazing cordial one day after I was helping her gather Elderberry flowers from this huge tree growing over a fence where we worked. I think the cordial was about the best damn thing I had ever tasted and cheaper than all the sugary drinks we pour down our throats.

The elderberry in herbal medicine, the  flowers have long been used in many cultures for colds, coughs fevers, and inflamed sinuses. They promote sweating, are anti-inflammatory, and work as an expectorant. They also contain anti-viral compounds, with some research strongly suggesting they are effective against the symptoms of certain strains of flu.

For a wee bit of pinching elderberry flowers and small amount of work, you could be sitting on your deck with a glass of homemade cordial.

Elderflower cordial recipe

  • 1.5 litres of boiling water
  • 1 kilo of white granulated sugar
  • 20 large elderflower heads (if they are small, pick more)
  • 4 lemons
  • 55g of citric acid


  1. In a Pyrex bowl (or deep saucepan) pour the boiling water onto the sugar and stir. Leave to cool, stirring every now and then to dissolve the sugar.
  2. When cool add the citric acid, the lemons (zested and sliced) and the elderflower heads.
  3. Leave to steep for 48 hours.
  4. Strain twice through sterilised muslin
  5. Using a jug and funnel carefully pour into hot sterilised bottles

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