Pink Elderflower Cordial + Pink Fizz Elderflower Cocktail

Monday, July 2, 2012

Today I'm going to show you how to make the quintessential summer drink, a non-alcoholic English elderflower cordial (think syrup) which is tart and sweet, with lovely floral notes. It doesn't get more refreshing than a splash of this cordial over a glass of iced soda water. 

At the end of the post I also have a cocktail recipe using the cordial.

I've been curious about making an elderflower cordial using the pretty pink flowers from my "Black Lace" elderberry  (Would it taste good? Would it leave everyone shuffling off with tummy aches like a bunch of Bar-ba-Loots?) and this year did some digging around to find this recipe. I modified it just a bit and it's been a big hit. Nobody has died. I thought I would be giving bottles of the cordial away for Christmas but it will be long gone by then.

Here are my step by step instructions...

Ingredient List:
  • 20 Elderflower heads
  • 3 Lbs sugar
  • 3 Pints water
  • 2 Ounces citric acid
  • 2 Lemons
Gather your materials and ingredients. You need a large stock pot and some bottles or jars to put your cordial in.

Pick your elderflower heads. I'm using the "Black Lace" variety but common elderflower with white flowers will also work perfectly. You just won't get the pink hue in the final product.

Remove as many flowers from their stems with a fork as you can. I've heard they can impart bitterness but I had a few stems remaining and didn't notice any ill effect, so I don't know how thorough you need to be.

Add your sugar and citric acid to the water, stirring over med heat until dissolved and clear. Add the zest of two lemons, then slice the lemons and throw those in the pot too.

Add your flowers to the pot, stir and leave to cool. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to sit for 48 hours.

After a day or two (some recipes call for 24 hours, some for 48 hours) you will see that the lemons and flowers have broken down a bit. You are now ready to strain through cheesecloth and then bottle in sterilized bottles.

The cordial will keep in the fridge for a few months or in the freezer for longer. The cordial is very concentrated and you need just a dash to liven up sparkling water.

Pink Fizz Elderflower Cocktail

1 shot English gin 
1 shot St Germain
1 dash of pink elderflower cordial
Method: Shake ingredients with ice, strain into ice-filled glass, and top with soda water
Garnish: Lemon zest twist or sprig of elderflower


  1. are hard-core in the kitchen (that's a compliment). You've got me wishing my "Black Lace" elderberry produced more blooms this year.

  2. Ha! I didn't think this one was going to come off at all, so I was pleasantly surprised. I'll definitely be going easy on the pruning of my elderberry next year so I have as many blooms as possible. If you get enough blooms I encourage you to give the cordial a try. You will feel hard-core and it's really a cinch!

  3. i love elderflower cordial, that color is so gorgeous! now if only the sun would stay a while...

  4. I was hoping the flowers might lend it a pink cast but I was not prepared for that neon pink lemonade color. Wow!

  5. Wow! If it tastes as good as it looks, YUM! Thanks for the recipe, can't wait to try it.

  6. Outlaw, It's so refreshing and it tastes like Summer! I didn't expect it to be so delicious and so popular.

  7. This year I have used less sugar, 1lb. 8ozs, as I found it very sweet last time. Also don't remove the flower heads and there have been no ill effects. Can definitely recommend and it is lovely in gin & tonic with ice. Mmm, can't wait for a sunny day now. Oh, heck why wait!!


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