Elderflower Cordial Cocktail

With the hedgerows in an elderflower frenzy, I thought I’d add a page about our favourite summer drink – the ‘elderflower sling’.

This luscious summer ‘cocktail’ leaves Pimms standing in the taste stakes, and is perfect for parties and BBQs, or just for those quiet moments of relaxation in the sun.

Elderflower Sling

  • Elderflower cordial (home-made if possible)
  • Gin
  • Lemonade
  • Ice
  • Slices of lemon

A couple of years ago we held a BBQ for about a dozen friends and family.  I mixed a jug of Pimms and one of our Elderflower Sling.  Luckily the drinks cabinet was well-stocked and we’d taken the precaution of buying an extra bottle of gin.

The Elderflower Sling jug went backwards and forwards into the kitchen for refills.  At the end of the evening, there was a slightly stale jug of Pimms left untouched, and 2 empty gin bottles!  Interestingly nobody suffered any ill-effects the next morning.

With a track record like that, you could be forgiven for not making enough to share!

Elderflower Cordial recipe


  • 35 fresh elder flower heads – freshly picked (use them within 4 hours of picking or they will smell like cat’s pee!
  • 2 lemons sliced
  • 2 oranges sliced
  • 2oz citric acid
  • 3 pints boiling water
  • 3lb granulated sugar




  1. Shake the elderflowers to remove any dust and bugs
  2. Dissolve the sugar and citric acid in boiling water. Allow to cool
  3. Add the orange and lemon slices to the cool sugar water
  4. Stir well to make sure the tartaric or citric acid is dissolved
  5. Add the elderflower heads.
  6. Cover with a lid or a cloth (we use a large polythene container) and leave it to for 48 to 72 hours.
  7. Strain the mixture through a muslin cloth (or old pair of ladies tights) and bottle
  8. Keep for a month in a fridge

Tip!  Use small plastic bottles and freeze them so you can make Elderflower Slings throughout the year!


One Response to “Elderflower Cordial Cocktail”

  1. Joelleharris Says:

    Sounds delicious! I love cordial, haven’t made it fir a few years….now I’m tempted!

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