The elderflower cordial saga

June 7, 2010

The elderflowers are out which means it’s cordial o’ clock. After my first disastrous attempt, I decided to try again. Being a bit OCD about pollution and the like (I’m sure I read something somewhere once about lead being absorbed by plants beside roads…?) I headed to rural Worcestershire this weekend to harvest the flowers. It all started so well – skipping merrily along the hedgerows, I filled my basket (well, a Tesco carrier bag, but let’s not spoil the image) with flowers and enjoyed the glorious sunshine. These pretty pics are from Laundry Etc – I wish my cordial-making looked this nice:

But, suddenly, out of nowhere, thunder began to rumble and the dream ended. It POURED with rain. Soaked to the skin, running through open fields, surrounded by flashes of lightening that were WAY too close for comfort, my Primark flip-flops broke (£1.50,#whaddyaexpect) and I ended up abandoning them altogether and pegging it bare-foot through mud, wondering if my cordial was CURSED. Thankfully, I survived (although the car seats are covered with mud much to the boyfriend’s chagrin…) and the cordial is now steeping in huge cloth-covered bowls.

There’s a fabulous recipe here if you fancy having a bash yourself. You’ll need: 900g granulated sugar, 50g citric acid, 2 sliced lemons and 25 elderflower heads. The method is here and you can find citric acid and all the glass bottles you’ll need at the Jam Jar Shop where the lovely Rosemary has arranged for HomeShoppingSpy readers to get a 10% discount on all orders – just enter the code JJSIDEAL at the checkout. Hurrah! If you haven’t got time to order online, you can re-use glass or plastic water bottles (sterilise them first!) and you’ll find citric acid at most independent pharmacy shops. – Ellie

8 Responses to “The elderflower cordial saga”

  1. Marisa Says:

    What good timing, we’re off after school to do the same been watching the elders all weekend as they are just peaking! Will use this reciepe. The worry about pollution etc it might be worth asking the guys at ??

  2. Catherine Says:

    You’re so industrious, you’re making me feel guilty. Whilst I also use the Tesco’s shopping bag it’s usually for bringing home a bottle from said shop!

  3. Dear Ellie

    So glad I found this – after reading an article in a magazine I am about to embark on my first ever Elderflower Cordial making adventure need all the advice I can get.

    I have already found The Perfect Tree (in a field, not on a road, plenty of ‘heads’ just coming into flower). Really wish I hadn’t read a bit of advice that said they are best picked at dawn… don’t much fancy that.

    Anyway, I needed bottles and the Jam Jar place looks perefct! I shall order tonight.

    So thank you.

    I am in Herefordshire so maybe not too far from your tree – I grew up in Worcestershire, near Pershore / Evesham?


    ps Boyfriend is cider-maker (professionally) and is muttering about fermentation and exploding bottles. I am not letting him put me off.

    My partner is a cider maker (professionally)

  4. Bethan Says:

    Ellie, you must try your cordial with strawberries instead of sugar, with some shredded fresh mint…mmmmm summer in a bowl!

    Oh, and any new cordial-makers, don’t skip sterilising your bottles… it’s boring but much worse to find your hard work ruined after a week!

  5. Fahara Says:

    Thanks for the promo code – The Jam Jar Shop rocks! Just bought a load of bottles to make elderflower cordial 🙂

  6. Have made my cordial! And it is delicious…

    Thanks so much for writing this article and pointing me at the Jam Jar Shop – I bought some really pretty bottles to put the cordial in.

    Anyway, if you’re interested I have written a blog post about it and mentioned you and Jam Jar…


  7. Robin Says:

    Who knew! Greetings from America. I must try this. Did you know there is a liqueur made from Elderflower?called St. Germaine. fabulous! Love the blog.

  8. More Says:

    Hi I just wanted to leave a comment to say that I enjoy your blog. Looking at the number of comments, I see others feel the same way! Congratulations on a very popular site.


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