Home » Refined Sugar Free Elderflower Cordial

Refined Sugar Free Elderflower Cordial

elderflower cordial recipe blog titleThere are a fewer things that epitomise Spring turning to Summer for me than the smell of elderflower in the air.

This fabulous hedgerow was brought to my attention by good old Hugh F-W the year my eldest was due, and my friend and I became obsessed with it! We were cordial/wine/champagne making machines and our enthusiasm lasted the following year too. Then life (and five more kids between us) took over, and we forgot all about the pretty little edible flowers. Until this week!

Elderflowers are back, so we took the kids out picking and made some yummy cordial. Five years ago I would follow a recipe but try and reduce the amount of sugar, and use unrefined rather than table. Now I feel more confident in my own abilities to experiment, I used local honey instead of sugar. I’m impressed with the flavour and will definitely make it like this in the future. These lovelies are perfect *right now* and won’t be around for long so make the most of them!

Ingredients for a 750ml bottle
Bag of elderflower heads
100ml good quality honey
3l cold water
Large orange sliced into six (or two lemons if you aren’t keen on orange) 
Large lemon sliced into six
A clean, sterilised bottle

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– you are looking for large butter coloured sweet smelling elderflower heads, and will need to pick a supermarket carrier bag sized full

– place your elderflowers in a large saucepan with the other ingredients, then pour the water over the top

– bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook with the lid resting on top of the pan for 30 minutes

– drain with a sieve and continue cooking just the liquid on a high heat for 30-45 minutes until it has reduced down to 750ml

– allow to cool then strain through a sieve one more time

– pour into your bottle and keep in the fridge

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  1. June 2, 2014 / 10:50 am

    Someone else mentioned fritters to me the other day, will give them a go before all the elderflower is gone!

  2. June 2, 2014 / 10:50 am

    Please let me know how you get on if you do 🙂

  3. June 2, 2014 / 10:49 am

    Thank you! It’s super easy, takes less an hour for half a litre 🙂

  4. June 2, 2014 / 10:49 am

    Thanks Sophie. The honey and citrus fruits really give it an extra bit of ooompf 🙂

  5. June 2, 2014 / 10:48 am

    woohoo! Hope you aren’t waiting too much longer xx

  6. June 2, 2014 / 10:47 am

    How fab to have had a perfect cover at the wedding! It always amazes me how s-l-o-w-l-y time goes in those first couple of months, and how fast it goes for the rest… such a shame elderflower doesn’t grow near you 🙁

  7. May 29, 2014 / 5:46 pm

    It’s a lovely added flavour, especially with the citrus fruits too 🙂

  8. May 29, 2014 / 5:42 pm

    it’s such a fab little freebie isn’t it 🙂

  9. May 28, 2014 / 7:50 pm

    Our elderflowers are just coming out here in France – I usually make champagne with mine and a friend makes elderflower fritters which I really must try this year. Such wonderful flowers with such a gorgeous scent.

  10. May 28, 2014 / 7:26 pm

    I love elderflower cordial but I’ve never attempted to make it myself. Your recipe sounds so simple and I’ve got lots of elderflower hedges near me so I think I’ll give it a go this year!

  11. InsideJourneys
    May 28, 2014 / 2:09 am

    I’m impressed. I’ve never even thought of making cordials but I’d give this one a try.
    Thanks so much for linking up this week.

  12. May 27, 2014 / 3:49 pm

    I love the fact that this is so natural – I’m not a big fan of having sugar in everything but I dislike sweeteners even more, so this is a fantastic alternative!
    Thank you for linking up to #TastyTuesdays, I’ve pinned this to the Tasty Tuesdays Pinterest board.

  13. May 27, 2014 / 1:44 pm

    I am eagerly waiting for our elder to flower! I love making cordial 🙂 x #TastyTuesdays

  14. May 27, 2014 / 11:29 am

    I love elderflower cordial too though sadly the plant doesn’t grow where I live in the south of France. I associate it with everything that’s wonderful about England and English summer. My love affair with it began at my brother’s wedding when I was pregnant and couldn’t drink champagne. I was only a few weeks in and hadn’t told anyone, not even my brother, so I was delighted to find the non-alcoholic drink being served was sparkling elderflower cordial which looked just like champagne so nobody guessed. Your recipe with honey sounds extra delicious. #TastyTuesdays

  15. May 26, 2014 / 2:48 pm

    I imagine the honey gives it a more interesting taste then just sugar. It’s such an exciting thing to go foraging for foodstuffs, I bet the girls really enjoyed it.

  16. Le Coin de Mel
    May 25, 2014 / 6:38 pm

    Will do x

  17. May 25, 2014 / 6:38 am

    Thanks for stopping by Jenny. Shouldn’t ferment as long as it goes straight in the fridge after cooling down. Also honey shouln’t cause as much fermentation as sugar would 🙂

  18. May 25, 2014 / 6:33 am

    Thanks so much for popping over Elizabeth. What a shame that you don’t have any growing nearby! It’s a lovely little activity to get the children involved in 🙂

  19. May 25, 2014 / 6:27 am

    It’s really yummy! Let me know if you try it out hon xx

  20. Le Coin de Mel
    May 24, 2014 / 10:30 pm

    I have never had this but have seen a few recipes around. I love the fact you used honey in your recipe. Will ask hubby whether he likes it or not and if he does, we shall be making it this week! x Mel

  21. May 24, 2014 / 10:01 pm

    We used to always make elderflower champagne, it was so gorgeous, I haven’t mae it in about 10 years now. Doesn’t the cordial ferment in the bottle? 🙂

  22. May 24, 2014 / 6:21 pm

    This sounds heavenly! I don’t live in an area where elderflowers grow wild (I remember seeing a tree in a garden in town but I don’t think they’d like it if I raided it!) so I’ve never tried making my own. One day, maybe. How lovely for your children to have the opportunity to make their own with you 🙂 #recipeoftheweek

  23. May 23, 2014 / 12:45 pm

    Thanks Laura. Let me know how you get on if you give it a go 🙂

  24. May 23, 2014 / 12:40 pm

    I love making things out of free food that grows everywhere. The kids really enjoy getting involved picking too xx

  25. May 22, 2014 / 10:28 pm

    Mmm, I love elderflower cordial too but normally buy something like Bottlegreen. Making your own must be very satisfying! X

  26. May 22, 2014 / 5:55 pm

    I love elderflower – such a good recipe now where do I find an elderflower hedge!

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