elderflower cordial – worthy of Mr. Darcy

Friends of ours have offered me elderberries for the last several years to no avail. For one reason or another, I couldn’t get there to pick them during their harvest time. This year, I asked if I could pick the elderflower, instead of the fruit.

Elderflower evoke visions of a lace and wicker picnic complete with wine goblets and fresh strawberries.

elderflower cordial l bitebymichelle.com

Clearly, I’ve read too many Jane Austen novels! The blossoms are a glorious cluster of creamy white stars on long slender stems. They’re simple to harvest; a pair of kitchen scissors, a basket and ten minutes of cutting time. Elderflower cordial is just as easy to make. It takes twenty-four hours to steep, so give yourself a couple of days before you want to serve it. Once done, the cordial will keep in your fridge for months or you can freeze it. This is a drink worthy of Mr. Darcy!


  • 18 heads of elderflower
  • 500 g sugar, use a scale to weigh the sugar
  • 2 lemons

elderflower cordial l bitebymichelle.com


  1. Check the elderflower well, to get rid of any bugs. Don’t rinse them or you will lose the precious pollen.  
  2. Place the sugar and 1 litre of water in a large sauce pan.
  3. Gently bring to the boil, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Remove from heat. 
  5. Finely grate the lemon zest from one lemon, then juice it. Add juice and lemon zest to sugar mixture.
  6. Slice the second lemon and add to sugar mixture.
  7. Add the elderflower heads down, making sure the flowers are completely submerged.
  8. Cover the pot and set aside for 24 hours to infuse.
  9. After 24 hours, line a fine sieve with cheesecloth over a large bowl and pour the cordial slowly through.
  10. Store in sterilized jars.
  11. Serve diluted with water, soda or my favourite Prosecco.

elderflower cordial l bitebymichelle.com

THE LOVE: If you missed a bug, not to worry, bugs float in liquid so any escapee will come to the surface in the syrup. Just pick it out.

Thanks for reading.