A taste of summer


There are soft cushions of creamy white blossom filling the hedgerows around the county. This diverse plant is as happy growing in rural Sussex as it is along the railway sidings into Waterloo station.




The Elderflower blossoms make the tastiest of cordials encapsulating the taste of the summer in a refreshing drink. It’s one I love to make and couldn’t be easier.

Simply take,

1.8kg Granulated sugar
75g Citric acid (buy from your chemist)
1ltr Cold Water
25-30 fresh Elderflower heads
2 Lemons
2 1ltr bottles


In a pan pour in the water and add sugar. Over a low heat gently stir to dissolve, then bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and as it cools add citric acid, stir. Leave to cool, transfer into a large bowl adding the rind of both lemons before roughly chopping the remainder to the liquid along with the flowers heads. Don’t wash the flowers as this gets rid of the pollen and you need bit! Make sure all is covered in the liquid.


Cover and leave for 24/36 hours at room temperature. This then turns to a highly scented thick syrup. You need to filter, so I use a clean linen tea towel placed over a large 2 litre jug and slowly pour through the cloth to leave a clear cordial.

Take your sterilised bottles (I do this with boiling water) pour in the syrup and label.


Dilute to taste with still or sparkling water.  It keeps well in the fridge for about 4 weeks and can be frozen in plastic bottles and kept in the freezer for later in the year, allowing the taste of summer to continue. Enjoy!


  • Gillian Chruscikowska

    Lovely photos – very inspirational – I was only thinking about making some cordial yesterday…hope I can fit it in before the flowers are over!ReplyCancel

    • janegeoghegan@aol.com

      Thank you Gillian. We’re glad you enjoyed the post. The cordial is quite delicious!ReplyCancel

  • My dear friend Fe loves making Elderflower and has made some from Pink Elderflowers which I had no idea they existed. The cordial is a beautiful bright, couldn’t be pinker colour. Just amazing.ReplyCancel

    • Fiona lawrenson

      Nicci that’s a great idea I have some sambucus nigra (pink elderflower) in the garden I’ll give it a go xReplyCancel

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