Recipe: Refined Sugar Free Elderflower Cordial

elderflower kombucha

There are a fewer things that epitomise Spring turning to Summer for me than the smell of elderflower in the air. My delicious refined sugar free elderflower cordial recipe always goes down a treat this time of year. 

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!

sugar free elderflower cordial

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 1L bottle of refined sugar free elderflower cordial

Carrier bag of elderflower heads
100ml good quality honey (you could use maple syrup or coconut sugar if you are vegan)
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

sugar free elderflower cordial

– 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 

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

– pour into your bottle and keep in the fridge

sugar free elderflower cordial


Digiprove sealThis content has been Digiproved © 2016-2019

34 thoughts on “Recipe: Refined Sugar Free Elderflower Cordial

  1. Absolutely! This keeps nicely if it’s bottled, sealed and kept unopened. Once open it’ll need to be used in a few days. The lemons/oranges are for flavour so you can easily leave them out. Coconut sugar or unrefined muscovado work really well in place of honey, too. I have a second Instagram account called “happyguthappyhead” where I post fermented recipes, you might like it xx

  2. Hi do you use the lemon or oranges for vitamin c so that it keeps? Us it possible to keep it for a few months if you don’t open it or don’t put it in a fridge? We don’t have one!! Xxx Thanks looking forward to refined sugar free & local preserving xxx

  3. 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 🙁

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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 🙂

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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

  13. 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: