Posh squash

Food & Cooking

Fetch up at our friend Peta’s on a summers day, and she’ll have thrust a cool glass of sophisticated, refreshing and home-made elderflower cordial into your hand before you’ve even had time to admire the garden.  Somehow, I’ve never got round to making it myself …. before this year.

Which is silly, because it’s too easy, and you can make several bottles of concentrated cordial for the price of a bag of sugar and a couple of lemons.  Oh, and a small amount of citric acid.  And there’s the rub.  I had a small pack left over from some project in England.  It’s all gone and now I’m trying to replace it.  Every chemist I’ve spoken here to has narrowed his or her eyes suspiciously and offered to order me half a kilo to arrive next week.  What CAN they think I’m up to?

Here’s Sophie Grigson’s recipe:


20 heads of elderflower, well shaken to remove any insects

1.8 kg. granulated sugar

1.2 litres water

2 unwaxed lemons

75 g. citric acid.


  • Heat the water and sugar to boiling point and stir till the sugar has dissolved.
  • Meanwhile pare the zest of the lemons in wide strips and put into a bowl with the elderflowers.
  • Slice the lemons, discard the ends and add the slices to the bowl.
  • Pour over the boiling syrup and add the citric acid.
  • Cover with a cloth and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
  • Next day, strain the cordial through a muslin-lined sieve, and pour into thoroughly clean bottles.  And it’s done.

And if you explore this link, you’ll find lots of ideas for using it.


6 thoughts on “Posh squash

  1. Hello Margaret. It’s a wonderful drink isn’t it and Peta never seems to run out of it! I did a blog about it too a while back with a few memories thrown in. It’s here : http://gillyinariege.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/elderflower-cordial-memories/
    if you want to read it (sorry, I don’t know how to make that a proper link in a comment).

    Someone told me that the raised eyebrows over citric acid is cocaine related, so you are probably now viewed as the local drug baroness!


    1. Great blog! Thank you. And yes, I did realise all the chemists thought I was a drugs dealer. Honestly, the looks I’ve had! (but no citric acid).


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