Elderflower, lemon & vanilla cordial

A refreshing floral concentrate to dilute with water as a drink or use in creamy light desserts like fools and syllabubs

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:40 mins
    Plus steeping
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 67
  • fat 0g
  • saturates 0g
  • carbs 17g
  • sugars 17g
  • fibre 0g
  • protein 0g
  • salt 0g


  • 1kg caster sugar
  • 2 unwaxed organic lemons, halved, plus a strip of peel
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds reserved
  • 1 tbsp citric acid powder or vitamin C powder
  • about 40 fresh elderflowers, shaken free of bugs, lightly rinsed


Citric acid/ vitamin c powder
These can be bought from chemists and health food shops.Storage
You can keep the cordial in sterilised bottles in a cool, dark place for two months or in the fridge for six months. If you want to keep it longer, it can be frozen.Sterilising
To sterilise the bottles, wash them in hot soapy water, rinse, then place on a baking sheet in a low oven to dry completely.


  1. Fill a large pan with 2 litres water. Add the sugar, lemons, vanilla pod and powder, and bring slowly to the boil. Boil rapidly until the mixture has reduced by half, then remove from the heat.

  2. Add the elderflowers to the pan and stir gently. Leave to cool completely, then pass through a sieve lined with muslin into another clean pan. Whisk in the vanilla seeds and store the cordial in sterilised bottles with a strip of peel and the vanilla pod added (see tips below). To make a refreshing drink, use 1 part cordial to 5 parts iced water.

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