Elderflower Cordial


You will need:


- 20/30 freshly picked elderflower head

- zest of two lemons

- zest of one orange

- 1.5kg granulated sugar

- 200ml lemon juice

- tartaric acid (optional)


  • shake insects off the elderflowers then place in a large bowl with the lemon and orange zest

  • pour over enough just boiled water to cover

  • cover bowl in tea towel and leave for 4 hours or until cold

  • strain liquid through muslin, gently squeezing 

  • measure liquid and pour into saucepan

  • to every 500ml liquid add 350g sugar, 50ml lemon juice (and heaped teaspoon of tartaric acid)

  • heat gently and stir, dissolving the sugar

  • bring to a gently simmer and skim off any scum that rises to the surface

  • let cool and strain again

  • funnel into clean and sterilised bottles, leave 2-3cm at the top and seal the bottles

  • to serve dilute to taste with ice cold water. at least 5:1 water to cordial


Elderflower Champagne (one for the adults)


You will need:  


- 20 elderflower heads in full bloom

- 4.5 litres cold water plus 1.5 litres for dissolving sugar

- 2 lemons

- 700 grams granulated sugar

- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar


  • dissolve water in 1.5L water, allow to cool

  • in a large container squeeze the juice from the lemons, cut the rind into four pieces and put in the container with the elderflower heads

  • add the sugar water, wine vinegar and the rest of the cold water

  • cover and leave for 4 days, stir daily and check for formation of bubbles indicating the presense of natural yeast and fermentation

  • strain through muslin and bottle in plastic screw top bottles

  • leave to ferment for 6-10 days, occasionally release the pressure from the bottles 

  • if fermentation fails to start then leave for another week

  • alcohol content will depend on type of yeast that forms and how long fermentation last, needless to say it can be quite potent

  • serve cold with ice on a hot day, enjoy!



Elderberry Flu Remedy


  • Put elderberrys in pan and cover with water

  • Summer till soft then strain through sieve

  • For every 600ml of liquid add 450g sugar, juice of 1 lemon and 10 cloves

  • Return to heat and add 2cm of fresh ginger

  • Boil hard for 10 minutes

  • Cool and freeze in ice cube trays































Matt was an excellent instructor who led the group well throughout the day with consideration to the pace of the learning and what we actually did. He is a very personable sort of guy who quickly established a warm rapport with us and without doubt was extremely knowledgable about his subject which he taught with confidence and passion. He even had to contend with a biblical style downpour right in the middle of the day! He took it all in his stride and continued to motivate and interest us with a wide scope of topics that I had given him for the group to get stuck into. I will definitely recommend him to others and will try and organise another day with him later in the year.