Best Elderflower Recipes

From Cocktails to Sweets to Savory Dishes

If you live in the north of Scotland, the elderflower season is short, from late May to mid-July at the latest. The heavily scented flowers are wonderful, especially when infused with lemon and sugar and made into a refreshing cordial. This, in turn, can be used in so many other recipes.

  • 01 of 04

    Elderflower Cordial Recipe

    Refreshing Elderflower Cordial

    The flowers are picked and cleaned and you have assembled your ingredients and sterilized your bottles. So it is time to make your elderflower cordial. The recipe is simple, and though it takes a few days to see the process through, it is worth it.

    The cordial can be drunk with either still or sparkling water and is a creative and delicious ingredient in sweet and savory recipes.

  • 02 of 04

    Sweet Elderflower Recipes

    Fancy cake with curd elderberry creme decorated with elderberries
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Elderflower cordial comes into its own when used in dessert and pudding recipes. The heavy scent of the cordial, the sweetness from the sugar, and the tang of the lemon bring wonderful background flavors to your dish.

    A top favorite is a refreshing jelly. This recipe uses Champagne, but don't worry, you don't have to—you can use tonic water instead, especially if you are making the jelly for children.

    When the weather heats up, consider making a homemade elderflower and honey ice cream. The sweetness of the honey complements the flavors in the cordial and gives the vanilla ice cream an interesting twist. And with just four ingredients, elderflower pannacotta is an easy but elegant dessert that will impress any guest.

    You can also liven up any recipe calling for whipped cream, such as an Eton mess, with a simple-to-make elderflower cream recipe

  • 03 of 04

    Savory Elderflower Recipes

    Gooseberry, Ginger and Elderflower Relish
    Elaine Lemm

    Yes, you read that correctly, elderflower works just as well in a savory dish as it does a sweet. Elderflower loves to be married with acidic gooseberries and rhubarb, so relishes, such as one made with rhubarb, and chutneys work very well. As these two fruits also work well with fatty meats, then it is no surprise to see the combination of pan-fried duck with gooseberry and elderflower relish.

    You can also add interest to an everyday salad with an elderflower vinaigrette. Combining elderflower cordial with extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey, this dressing will take any bowl of greens to a whole new level.

  • 04 of 04

    Elderflower Cocktails

    hugo prosecco elderflower soda ice summer drink
    Yulia-Images / Getty Images

    Of course, this collection of recipes needs to include a cocktail or two. St. Germaine is an elderflower liqueur, a great way to enjoy the taste of elderflower without having to make your own cordial—and there are plenty of recipes to choose from. This elderflower cocktail is a little different because it uses both Champagne and club soda, but if that produces too many bubbles for you, a dry white wine is also really nice in this drink recipe.

    The eye candy cocktail is a wonderful drink to enjoy in the warm summer months. It combines Bombay gin and St. Germaine with lemon juice, simple syrup, ginger root, mint, and club soda, making for a bit of sweet and sour taste, perfect with the elderflower flavor.