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15 responses to “Elderflower Cordial”

  1. lyn

    Our native elderflower smells unpleasant to me, but I love the syrup. I wonder why?
    Thanks for the interesting recipe.

  2. Jason C

    I have tried to make this cordial for a couple of years now and either I have a different variety here in the Northeast or I’m just missing something. I collect the berries from the same plants so I know I’m using elderflowers. The flowers are just OK at best. Even then I’m probably more infatuated with the idea than I am with the end result. Any thoughts on different strains of elderflowers in NE US?

  3. Ron May-Pumphrey

    I think this is great stuff. I substitute 2 blood oranges for one of the lemons. It’s what I have on hand and it gives a nice ‘blush’ to the syrup.

    Even in the small area I am familiar with, ( all blue elder) the flowers vary in odor. The fragrance is best early in the day, but even then an occasional tree has flowers that remind me of cat box!

  4. Fatemeh Forages

    I think the variety of elder trees we have in the United States is slightly different than the ones in Europe and Asia. I am in Los Angeles, California and the flowers are so pretty but never any fragrance that would make my heart sing.
    My elderberries are also really small.

  5. Nicole Meron

    I’ve used this recipe for a couple of years now and love it.
    I’ve now moved to a different part of Denmark so I hope the final drink is just as good. This year is really good for elderflowers.

  6. Gino Palmeri

    To Jason’s earlier comment: We really only have one edible wild elder in the northeastern US/ eastern Canada, the Common Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis). The tiny, creamy-white flowers blossom in a flat, like two-dimensional grouping called a cyme. They ripen into dark purple, almost black, berries which, when ripe and heavy, will bend their branch over quite a bit.

    If the flower cluster is shaped more like a lilac or hyacinth, then I would be wary. That would likely be the toxic Red Elder (S. _____. Botanists have recently decided that S. canadensis and the European Black Elderberry (S. nigra). That might be your source of confusion.

  7. Hilary McLeod

    In the Toronto, Canada area I am lucky to have bought a house with an elderberry bush. We used the berries for years for jam and to feed the birds. It has the tiny flowers on very large bundles, smells lovely in the morning, and they ripen into dark black berries. A few years ago my daughter gave me the idea of cordial (or pressé). I snip the blooms off the tree by clasping the flower head as close to the flowers as possible to save the step of further trimming. I make batches every year and have frozen it as well. Love it mixed with bubbly water (I use my Soda Stream). Not bad with a splash of gin for a summer cocktail. Just about to try making liquer for the first time. (Fill a quart jar loosely with blossoms and cover them with 70 proof vodka or 100 proof liquor. Tightly lid and put in cool, dark place for a few weeks. It will darken. Strain twice, second time through sieve lined with cheese cloth. Add sugar to taste, replace lid. Shake every couple of days to fully dissolve the sugar.)

  8. Sheryl

    I’m looking forward to reading your articles about elderberries. I’ve wanted to make wine or jelly with them for several years and am finally doing it this year. The berries here in south Louisiana don’t have the dusted appearance or at least I’ve never seen them that way. At what I think is the ripe stage, they’re dark purple and very easily squished. Should I be concerned because they don’t have that whitish coating?

  9. michael l colosimo

    Great simple recipe – I have to agree that picking early in the day gives you the best end result. We only had meyer lemons from our bush and I actually prefer that flavor vs. the organic lemon used in 2nd batch. Dig the blood orange derivation as well.
    Tanks Hank !

  10. Jackie Collins

    I have ‘Black Beauty’ elderberry. ‘Gerda’. Can that be used to make the syrup?

  11. Elderflower Cordial | Food. Farms. Chefs.

    […] Elderflower cordial is simple to make. It requires only the beautiful flower heads, water, sugar, citric acid, and the zest and juice of lemons. You can also add orange zest and juice, which I did, for the color. My batch combined two recipes. There is this one from the River Cottage, and this other from Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook. […]

  12. christine

    I love this recipe. I planted 2 elderberry bushes and this is their third year I had gorgeous dinner plate sized blooms.. using no fertilizer. Thank you for stating 2 cups of blossoms, the other recipes I used called for 25-30 flowers and it looked like too many for me. I used 7 flowers for 2 cups. So I was able to make 2 batches, considering a third which will still leave elderberries for later. I want to keep mine more than 3 weeks, can I freeze it? Maybe make large ice cubes and seal or could I freeze in mason jars? I scoured all my grocery stores for citric acid, even the spice and produce experts in the stores looked at me like I was talking about some crazy non-existent dangerous ingredient. Just as I was about to head 45 minutes away to a health food store, I found something recommended by a chef in the deli department called Fruit-Fresh, produce protector, it has citric acid and ascorbic acid, dextrose, and silicon dioxide. It worked just fine, but since I love to try to be a s natural as possible, I’m ordering some organic critic acid online so I have it when the small window of making elderflower cordial arises next time. Thanks for the recipe and the explanation. DELICIOUS and also terrific with limes.

  13. Karl Marlowe

    Just made my first batch of syrup with flowers harvested from about 8,000′ elevation in Lamoille Canyon, Nevada. First drink was a much improved version of Starbucks’ Passion Tea-Lemonade. Next, we’ll try it with gin or prosecco. I’ll be ready to harvest a bunch more next year, flowers are pretty well gone at lower elevations and not many bushes at the higher parts of the canyon.

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