I don’t grow elder, but I pick the flower heads from parks or on country walks, avoiding trees along busy roads. I’ve used this cordial as you would normally, and in ice lollies and jelly.


20-25 elderflower heads
Zest of 3 lemons (unwaxed), and juice
1kg sugar


  1. Pick over the flower heads and remove any insects.
  2. Put the flower heads in a big bowl with the lemon zest and pour over 1.5 litres of boiling water. Cover with a plate or cling film and leave overnight.
  3. Strain the liquid into a large pan (use a jelly bag if you have it, but I use sieve lined with a clean tea towel)
  4. Add the sugar and the lemon juice and heat gently until it comes to a simmer. After a few minutes, pour into sterilised bottles.

Alternatively, you can pour into tubs or bags and freeze.