Elderflower Cordial Prosecco Spritz

Elderflower Cordial by Meeta K. Wolff-0242

It's July – already! My last post was end of May!

I had many plans through June for my blog – most importantly I wanted to celebrate my birthday with you. As a child of June, I am convinced it is the best month in the whole year. Don't think I wasn't working towards my plan though. I cooked, baked, styled and shot many delicious foods and dishes – job related yes - but also a selection for my readers here. But my plans to sit still and write a post often were interrupted by spontaneous photo shoots, travels and family fun in the sun!

One of the recipes I have really been looking forward to sharing was this one – my Elderflower Cordial with notes of lime and lemon. The Elderflower season is an extremely short one, starting around mid-May till end of June. We are just ending the Elderflower season. I have never seen Elderflower in stores or even at the markets. I have only ever foraged the blooms. I am sure you might have spotted a few of the bushy Elder trees with a smattering of the creamy cluster of blossoms often found on the edges of pathways and woods; nestled amongst hedgerows.

Elderflower Cordial by Meeta K. Wolff-0190

Elderflower Cordial by Meeta K. Wolff-0127

So that was what I was doing for part of June – not only foraging for Elderflower but cherry picking and strawberry harvesting. See it has been so hot here over the past several weeks that much of the produce in our region has ripened weeks ahead of time. After the Rhubarb tart I posted there was an influx of fruit that usually appears a little later in the summer. It has been hard keeping up with all my favorites!

When I see the Elder bushes start to bloom on my walks through the woods I usually get excited and begin planning all kinds of desserts. The tiny buds have a sweet light fragrant bouquet and taste wonderfully unique and refreshing. My first batch always goes for a few liters of a wonderful delicately flavoured Elderflower cordial. A good cordial goes a long way, as with this basis you can create a variety of interesting desserts and drinks to last throughout summer. From jellies to sorbets to panna cotta – Elderflower cordial will provide you with the quintessential taste of summer.

Elderflower Cordial by Meeta K. Wolffl-0152

Elderflower Cordial by Meeta K. Wolff-0207

We add a splash of the cordial to cold sparkling water with a few sprigs of mint and slices of lemon, this keeps us hydrated throughout the hot days. The weekends, when we soak up the sun rays, relax with family and friends, enjoying good food, a favorite aperitif is a bubbly chilled prosecco with a good dash of the Elderflower cordial. A Prosecco Elderflower Spritz – it has the very essence of long hot summer days. Don't be too much of a snob about the prosecco - any good tasting fruity dry and inexpensive bubbly will do – a spumante or a frizzante works well as you do want some of the fizz to make it spritzy.

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Once Elderflowers are in season and ready to be foraged – here are some vital tips for picking the best Elderflowers:

  • Pick your elderflowers on nice dry days as rain does the blooms no favours especially when transporting them home.

  • Early in the morning the blossoms of the Eldflower have a much stronger scent - this is the best time to pick them.

  • As the Elderflowers age on the bush their flavor turns and they take on a rather unpleasant bleach like smell, therefore make your cordial at the beginning of the season, in late May and June.

  • Do not pick elderflowers near busy roads as the flowers are delicate and the fumes are not good for the fragrance and taste.

  • Do not use boiling water on the flowers as it will scald the flowers and destroy a lot of the taste. Allow the water to cool down a little before adding the flower to the liquid.

  • Place the flowers in a white paper bag when transporting them home. For one, often the little insects fall off and are easy to find and for another the paper keeps them dry.

  • At home, gently shake the flowers over the kitchen sink to remove the insects.

  • Snap off any thick stalks connected to the flower heads.

Elderflower Cordial by Meeta K. Wolff-0252

Picking Elderflower is sometimes a family affair, we will prepare a picnic and head out to our favorite spot next by the stream and under the trees. Several Elderflower bushes grow freely and offer copious amounts of flowers when in season. 

I like adding a few slices of lime to my cordial as it gives it a beautiful floral and spicy aroma counterbalancing the sweetness of the cordial.

Recipe: Elderflower Cordial and Prosecco Spritz

Prep Time:
Total Time:
Makes about: 2 liters


  • 1kg fine granulated sugar
  • 3 unwaxed lemons
  • 4 unwaxed limes
  • 50 to 60 large elderflower heads


  1. Put the sugar in a bowl with approx 1.75 litres boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Shake the Elderflowers to get rid of any hidden insects, and remove the stalks. Add to the sugary liquid then cover with a clean tea towel and leave to cool completely.
  2. Zest and slice the lemons and thinly slice the limes. Add the zest and fruit slices to the cold sugar solution. Cover with plastic wrap and place for 36 hours in the fridge.
  3. Strain the syrup through a fine sieve, then strain again, this time through a sieve lined with a fine muslin cloth. Pour into sterilised glass bottles and keep in a cool dark place for up to 2 months. Once you open one of the bottles make sure to refrigerate and use within a month.

The Prosecco Spritz

Chill your favorite prosecco. In wide coupe glasses pour some of the cordial, preferably also chilled, add a sprig of mint and top off with the bubbly prosecco.


Elderflower Cordial by Meeta K. Wolff-0215

Small bottles of homemade Elderflower cordial with a nice bottle of prosecco is are great gifts for when you are invited to dinners or meals to friends’ places. I hope you save this for the next Elderflower season and if you have never foraged for Elderflower, please highlight your calendars for next year now. When you see the exquisite white flowers, go and pick a good bag full - this cordial is the easiest thing you will ever make and it will be your favorite companion all summer long!

Here are some great ideas for summer al fresco meals from What’s For Lunch, Honey?:

Apricot Elderflower Jelly by Meeta Wolff-WM-0018 Asparagus Strawberry Salad with Vanilla Kissed Salmon steaks (0193) Honey Roasted Apple Crostata (0099) by Meeta K. Wolff

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2018 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. Wow, these are some of the best photos I think I've ever seen. I love them and this recipe is awesome. Makes me want to reach in and grab one ASAP. Thanks for sharing.

  2. So many people have never heard of elderflower. It is wonderful you go out and harvest all these great tasting food.

  3. It is hot today and has been for a week so this cool refreshing beverage looks so good and the citrus makes it so special. I will try and make my own this holiday.

  4. Uhm, I'm in love with those glasses...so elegant and inviting! Great recipe too...so easy that I need to try it out! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. I love the flavour of elderflower. Homemade cordial must be a thing of wonder and adding prosecco, wow! Shared!

  6. This is absolutely gorgeous. I love everything with elderflower and this cocktail is right up my alley!

  7. Beautiful photos! And a yummy, refreshing cocktail idea to try. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. This looks so refreshing! I have to purchase some elderflower to make this drink. My friends would love it.

  9. I loved your recipe and would like to try it out one day.

  10. I adore elder flower, we have nigh on a dozen bushes/trees in our garden and making both elderflower cordial and champagne really is the indicator of the start of summer for me :D

  11. I love elderflower lemon cordial. It reminds we or fresh flowers and pears. I would love to be able to make my own, thanks!

  12. I've never made anything like this before and it sounds so lovely especially during this season. Thanks for the tips on how to get the perfect elder flowers for the recipe. I'm sure I'll enjoy making this and drinking it as well. So lovely!

  13. Bintu | Recipes From A PantryJuly 5, 2018 at 9:34:00 AM GMT+2

    This sounds like such a delicious refreshing summery drink!

  14. I've never worked with Elderflowers, and I'm intrigued. This recipe is lovely and your photographs are stunning!

  15. I don't know anything about elderflowers. It sounds just wonderful!

  16. This sounds just lovely. Your photos are incredible and the recipe sounds just tasty! I’d love to try it!

  17. Oh my, I've never had a cocktail like this before. I must try it out. I don't think I've ever tried anything with elderflowers. I loved your photographs.

  18. Oh wow.. stunning photography and the recipe looks so good! I've never tried Elderflowers.

  19. This actually looks like a really tasty drink! It would be perfect for summertime company!

  20. I love your photography! We could totally be friends... ha! And happy belated birthday in June! This drink looks yum and I never knew you could add elderflower in drinks. ;)


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