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How to make elderflower and rose petal cordial

Elderflower cordial is delicious and a classic summer foraging drink to make, but it tastes even better with the addition of rose petals.

An elderflower drink in a cocktail glass with ice cubes, surrounded by elderflower blooms, on a tray.
Published: May 16, 2022 at 2:09 pm
  • Easy

Pick the elderflower on a dry sunny day, choosing those that smell lemony and fresh. For the rose petals, pick them from red or pink roses for the colour.

For long-term storage, the cordial can be frozen.

To drink, dilute to taste with cold water (still or sparkling). It can also be made with hot water to encourage sweating in colds and fevers.

The cordial can be frozen to make a sorbet or popped into possible moulds to make ice lollies. Extra rose petals can be added to make the colour brighter.

Elderflower and rose sorbet
Elderflower and rose sorbet


  • 30 Elderflower heads
  • 2 handfuls Fresh rose petals
  • 1kg Sugar
  • 2l Water
  • 50g Citric acid
  • Lemon, chopped
  • Orange, chopped


  • STEP 1

    Boil the sugar in the water for about five minutes in a large saucepan. Pour into a large ceramic bowl and add the citric acid, and chopped lemon and orange.

  • STEP 2

    Add the elderflower heads and rose petals. Stir well. Cover with a clean cloth and leave for three or four days. Strain through a jelly bag and fill sterilised bottles.

  • STEP 3

    To drink, dilute to taste with cold water (still or sparkling).

    Elderflower and rose cordial

This recipe is an extract from Eat Your Weeds! by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal., published by Merlin Unwin Books.

Eat Your Weeds book cover

Main image: An elderflower drink. © Katrin Benary/Getty


Julie Bruton-SealHerbalist, iridologist and cranio-sacral therapist

Julie Bruton-Seal is a Fellow of the Association of Master Herbalists (AMH). She and husband Matthew teach courses and workshops in herbal medicine, foraging and distilling.

Matthew SealForager, author and editor

Matthew Seal is a member of the Association of Foragers and, with his wife Julie, teaches courses and workshops in herbal medicine, foraging and distilling.


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