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Elderflower cordial and the 'Elder-tini'

Written By Reena on 1 Aug 2009 | 06:28

This is one of my favourite soft drinks and I thought I would try to make it myself. My version has more lemon then shop bought varieties, which has the benefit of it being less syrupy sweet. But you can play with the amount of lemon that you add to suit your own palate.

The cordial is very versatile and can be used in various recipes including the one at the bottom of this post for the elder-tini. I have a very sweet tooth and as such this cocktail is on the sweet side. Add less cordial if you prefer a more grown up martini.

For the elderflower coridal

Makes 450 ml cordial

  • 330g granulated white sugar
  • 500 ml boiling water
  • 1½ lemons
  • 18g citric acid
  • 50g dried elderflower heads (these can be hard to find - I buy them on the Internet from health food or witchcraft(!) shops)
  1. Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water, stirring to remove any lumps. Let the sugar solution cool to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile zest the lemons and then slice the remaining fruit. Do not juice the lemons.
  3. When the sugar solution has cooled, add the citric acid, the lemon zest, lemon slices and elderflower heads. Stir the mixture and then cover using cling film. Place the mixture in the fridge immediately and let the flavours steep for 48 hours.
  4. After 48 hours, strain the mixture through muslin and bottle. I sterilise the bottles using boiling water. However if you are likely to use the cordial within a couple of days you probably don’t need to worry too much.
  5. Store the cordial in the fridge and use within 2 weeks. Dilute to taste and serve with ice and lemon.

For the 'Elder-tini'

Makes 1 martini
  • Ice cubes - enough to ½ fill the cocktail shaker and ¾ fill the martini glass
  • 1 shot of home-made Elderflower cordial (25ml)
  • 2 shots of vodka (50ml)
  • 1 shot of lime juice (25ml)
  1. Fill your martini glass with ice until it is ¾ full. Add water to the rim and let the glass stand while you mix the drink. This will ensure that your glass is chilled and frosted - the secret to the perfect martini!
  2. Now place the remaining ice in the cocktail shaker and then add the elderflower cordial, vodka and lime juice. Shake vigorously to ensure that the ingredients are properly mixed and chilled.
  3. Empty the martini glass.
  4. Strain the contents of the cocktail shaker into the glass.
  5. Garnish with a slice of lime or, to be super-stylish, a cocktail umbrella.

About Reena


  1. Thank you so much for this recipe. It was hard finding dried elderflower in Long Beach, CA, but I succeeded. Just put the cordial concoction in the frig. Can't wait to try it on Friday!! Thanks again! Michelle

  2. Hi Michelle - I hope you enjoy it! Let me know...

  3. Reena, I unveiled your cordial today and there is no word sufficient to describe it other than "sublime." I love it!! I'm going to pour it into ice cube trays and transfer to a freezer bag so I always have it. I had to convert your measurements to U.S. equivalents-- this is very roughly the breakdown: 2 cups water, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons citric acid, 1 ounce (about 1/2 cup) dried elderflowers. Thanks again, Reena!!

  4. Actually, it's more like 1 cup of dried elderberries.

  5. Hi Michelle, I am so glad that you loved it! Thank you for sharing the converted measurements and for letting me know your thoughts. Take care. Reena

  6. That sounds DELICIOUS!

    I am going to make one with bought cordial.

  7. Hi Mr P. I'm sure the bought cordial will work just fine. Enjoy. Reena