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Nikolaj’s Danish Elderflower Cordial

In recent months I’ve met so many Danish people. How I’ve loved hearing their accents, swooning together as we remember beloved Danish recipes, laughing at how strange it is to adjust to Aussie culture when you’ve been raised in a Danish one.

I’ve met them through get-togethers with medieval Viking enactors and at the Danish Christmas Market Bear and I attended a few weeks ago. To a person they’ve all been delightful with a wealth of interesting information.

Our new friend Nikolaj is a talented gardener in nearby Toowoomba, (click here to see more about The Danish Gardener) and when he heard that I was growing elderflowers he was thrilled! Elderflowers and elderberries are truly beloved by the Danes, and they grow like weeds in the damp, cool climate of Denmark. Australian climate is just a bit different (!!!), but through trial and error I figured out how to get them to thrive, and was happy to pass along a couple of seedlings for him.

In return he shared his recipe for elderflower cordial.


Whenever I sip elderflower cordial I’m transported back to Denmark, to the tidy living room of the great aunt and uncle I was staying with. I couldn’t speak a lick of Danish, expect to ask for ice cream – my Grandpa thought that was a vital phrase to learn – so instead of chatting, we’d spend hours playing Uno, looking at old photos, and sipping ice cold glasses of elderflower cordial.

To me it was a magical elixir, something out of a fairytale with its flowery sweetness that wasn’t at all cloying. As Nikolaj described it this morning: “A little bit of heaven and everything summer.” I couldn’t put it better myself.

My spindly elderflower seedlings have shot up this year, well on their way to forming a proper hedge that will furnish me with blossoms and berries for many years to come.

This morning I picked my first basket full, utterly unable to keep myself from grinning like a Cheshire.

I gave them a good shake to dislodge any resident insects, plucked the blossoms and discarded the stems, added sliced lemons and a glug of bush lemon juice I made earlier this year, then covered the whole lot with hot sugar syrup. It’s now macerating in the fridge where each day for the next four days I’ll give it a stir. Once the flavor has fully infused the syrup, I will strain the concoction and bottle the liquid.


The elderflower cordial is delicious stirred into chilled sparkling water, white wine, and even champagne. I also like it whipped into a syllabub for a summery, creamy dessert.

Do you have a drink that transports you to somewhere special? xo

Nikolaj’s Danish Elderflower Cordial

20-30 big elderflowers
2 organic lemons
2 Tbsp citric acid (I didn’t have any, so I used bush lemon juice)
650 g sugar
1 liter boiling water

1. Shake flower for insects and cut off green stems.
2. Place in large pot/bowl with lid.
3. Wash lemons, cut in slices and put in pot with flowers.
4. Mix acid and sugar and dissolve in water. Pour over flowers/lemons and cover.
5. Leave in fridge for 4 days (stir once a day) Sieve through a cloth and pour onto sterilized bottles. Note: If bottles are not sterilized, cordial can ferment and bottles can explode and create a rather large mess.
6. To drink – mix with sparkling water or white wine.

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Campfires, Herbs, and Medieval Projects » Rambling Tart - […] never have too much elderflower. Next week I will tuck the first two in my greenhouse and plant the elderflower in my new garden bed where it can spread out into a beautiful hedge that will keep us supplied with […]

A Danish Australian Boxing Day » Rambling Tart - […] Day we emerged from our cocoon of delectable laziness to visit our Viking friends, Paula and Nikolaj. They lured us out with promises of risalamande med kirsebærsauce – almond rice with cherry […]

Marge Gavan - This is the first time I’ve seen a recipe with a flower in the mixture. Now I really wonder how this tastes like.

Anna @ shenANNAgans - Ahhhh, so that’s what elderflower are. Lol! They are so pretty, will have to find me some elderflower cordial to try before I go forth and try making it.

Rosemarie - How gorgeous! Looks more like art in a bowl! I bet it taste divine!

Lauren - Mm elderflower cordial is delicious, especially when it is homemade! I grew up with elderflower in the garden, we used to make elderflower fritters!

Elissa - That’s great you were able to grow them here. Lovely to see a recipe for something that sounds very exotic and not usually a home made option in Australia.

Eileen | The Food Avenue - The flowers look gorgeous and the recipe sounds amazing. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

Evelyne CulturEatz - Not sire if comment went through…This Elderflower Cordial sounds amazing. I wish I had access to elderflower, not any around and premade cordials expensive. These flowers are very Austrian too.

Evelyne CulturEatz - This Elderflower Cordial sounds amazing. I wish I had access to elderflower, not any around and premade cordials expensive. These flowers are very Austrian too.

Oana | Adore Foods - Elderflower cordial is soo good! I had no idea you can actually be successful in growing it in Qld. For sure you’ve got some magic around 🙂 Lovely photos xo

Tandy Sinclair - I wish I could make this at home as I love elderflower drinks!

Ken Powell - Exquisite photos, Krista. They, alone, make me want to try your cordial 🙂

Hotly Spiced - I would want to make sure I certainly sterilised the bottles – I wouldn’t want bottles of cordial exploding in my pantry! What a lovely story, Krista. I do love how, despite the climate challenges, you’ve been able to grow elderflowers. I’ve never seen elderflowers before and these are very pretty xx

Nancy - You know, I don’t think I’ve ever had elderflower cordial. I’m sure I saw some in a shop here recently I’m going to have to remedy that.

Krista - I will indeed, Tania. 🙂 I confess I keep going back to the pictures because they make me so happy. 🙂 xo

My Kitchen Stories - You are going to be elderflower dreaming for a while/. We will have to tiptoe around you and let you daydream. I bet you can’t wait to bottle that brew.

Krista - They sure do taste good, Jan. 🙂 It was a lovely time staying with my Uncle and Aunt. My brother was with me, and our grandparents, and we had such a great time exploring the village where they lived. 🙂

budgetjan - Those flowers are so gorgeous Krista (looking I mean) and they taste good too?? It will be lovely to be transported back to your Uncle and Aunts Danish living room, especially at Christmas Time. I can’t imagine their flavour.

Krista - Thank you so much, Liz!! I think elderflowers are so stunningly beautiful, and their flavor is exquisite. 🙂 Can’t wait to see your creations! xo

Liz Posmyk - Beautiful, just beautiful! Now I know what to do when mine flowers! xxx

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