Gorse and Elderflower Cordial

This delightful cordial combines the sweet floral notes of elderflowers with the distinctive aroma of gorse flowers, resulting in a refreshing drink perfect for spring and summer. We foraged our gorse and elderflower locally from Bray Head!

Takes 20 minutes

Serves 20


  • 20 elderflower heads
  • 20 g (0.7oz) gorse flowers
  • 1.5 litres (6.3 cups) water
  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) caster sugar
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges


Prepare the Flowers:

  • Shake the elderflower heads to remove any insects and gently rinse them under cold water. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Ensure the gorse flowers are clean and free from insects. Rinse them briefly if needed.

Make the Cordial Base:

  • In a large saucepan, combine the water and sugar over medium heat.
  • Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved, creating a simple syrup base.

Add the Flowers:

  • Once the sugar has dissolved, add the elderflower heads and gorse flowers to the saucepan.
  • Stir gently to submerge the flowers in the syrup.

Infuse the Flavours:

  • Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, and orange juice to the saucepan.
  • Stir to combine, ensuring all ingredients are well incorporated.

Simmer and Steep:

  • Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavours to infuse.

Strain the Cordial:

  • After simmering, remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
  • Strain the cordial through a fine-mesh sieve or muslin cloth into a clean jug or bowl.

Bottle and Store:

  • Pour the strained cordial into sterilised glass bottles or jars.
  • Seal the bottles tightly and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Serve and Enjoy:

  • To enjoy, dilute the cordial with still or sparkling water, adjusting the ratio to your preference.
  • Garnish with a slice of lemon or a sprig of fresh elderflowers for an elegant touch.
  • We ground some gorse flowers with some caster sugar for a beautiful yellow coating to coat the rim of our glasses.
  • Sip and savour the floral flavours of your homemade gorse and elderflower cordial on a sunny afternoon!
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