Elderflower Cordial

Elderflowers are out in early summer – just in time for the hayfever season as they are an effective decongestant. This recipe makes a lovely summer drink, try it with sparkling water, very refreshing. You will need heads of elderflowers (about 12 for this amount)

  • Remove small stems – barely cover with water and simmer about 10 minutes.
  • Strain and measure the liquid.
  • Allowing 400 g sugar for 750 mls of liquid (approx 2 : 1), stir in sugar and allow to dissolve.
  • I also like to add a fresh lemon and juice.
  • Bring to the boil for 5 minutes.
  • Skim off any residue with back of a spoon.
  • Allow to cool and bottle and label.


Note: If you are familiar with meadowsweet which is in abundance in July, you can make a cordial in the same way.


Elderflower Glycerite

This is even more simple to make. Take a clean jar and pack with freshly picked elder blossoms. Fill with vegetable glycerine and stir well. Put lid on tightly and place this jar in a warm place (sunny window) for two weeks. You may want to leave a bit longer given our lack of good sunshine in recent weeks. Strain well and bottle and label. Take a teaspoonful for a sore throat.

Honeysuckle flowers

Not used as commonly today as in times past, honeysuckle is nonetheless an excellent herb, often used for skin and respiratory complaints.

The flowers are stunning and have a lovely, heavy sweet perfume. Try making a glycerite, similar to the elderflower one above, and use for sore throats and bronchitis.