Spring, Drinks

Elderflower, Lemon and Vanilla Cordial

So, this is super simple, super delicious, so fragrant and hugely satisfying to make.

It can be used as a cordial of course but also in cocktails, to sweeten frosting or yogurt and even make sorbet.

It will keep well for several months in a cool dark cupboard.

I used golden caster sugar as i didn't have any white to hand, this just gave the cordial a darker golden colour than if i had used white.

Whilst foraging for elderflowers, do try to harvest on a sunny day around noon, as this is when the flowers are at their most fragrant.

Also pick away from busy roads and only take a few from each bush, its important they go to berries for the birds feed from.

2 litres


1 kg caster sugar golden or white

2 litres water

1 vanilla pod split in half

4 lemons

Approx. 30 heads of Elderflower.


  1. In a large pan add the sugar and water, gentle bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and continue to warm for a minute or two. Then remove from the heat.
  2. Add ½ or the whole vanilla pod depending how much vanilla flavour you want; I added half a pod.
  3. Using a peeler remove and add the zest from all the lemons, slice 2 and add and add the juice from the remaining two to the pot.
  4. Cut your elderflower heads so the leaves and only a short stem remain, give them a shake to remove bugs and add to the pot.
  5. Give it a good stir and try to make sure the elderflowers are covered with the sugar syrup. Cover with a lid and set aside for 24 hours to infuse.
  6. After the 24 hours is up you need to strain the cordial through a fine sieve lined with muslin or kitchen towel. Into a large bowl.
  7. Decant into smaller sterilised bottles.It will keep well stored in a cool dark place for several months

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