Elderflower and Coriander Vodka Recipe

The flowers of the elderberry plant - Sambucus nigra - are tiny pale stars. Thousands of the small blossoms form intensely aromatic galaxies this time of year, and if you're lucky, you'll come across some. I use mine to infuse vodka.

Elderflower and Coriander Vodka

The flowers of the elderberry plant - Sambucus nigra - are tiny pale stars. Thousands of the blossoms form intensely aromatic galaxies this time of year, and if you're lucky (and in the right region), you'll come across them. Cordials are a common use for the flowers, although, I opted to diligently pluck flowers from stem to infuse a couple of jars of vodka. As I was pulling the elder flowers from my market bag, they were tangled in a bouquet of vibrant, fragrant, fresh coriander, and I thought, why not? The green citrus notes of the coriander would be a welcome addition to the sweet heady elderflower, and into the jars it went as well.

Elderflower Coriander VodkaElderflower Coriander VodkaElderflower Coriander VodkaElderflower Coriander VodkaElderflower Coriander Vodka

Some uses; to spike lemonade or orange juice; in vodka and soda or vodka tonic; or a splash in a glass with sparkling wine. In all cases you can sweeten to taste with a simple honey syrup or common simple syrup - or not.

I've seen beautiful celebrations of the tiny flowers in other places too. Have a look. If vodka isn't your thing, a cordial is a fantastic alternative. Although, please remember, when it comes to elderflower blossoms, you need to take the time to remove as much of the green part of the plant as possible. The stems and branches and roots are not edible.

- How to Make Elderflower Cordial (The Wednesday Chef)

- Strawberries & Elderflower (Cannelle et Vanille)

- Elderflower Cordial (The River Cottage)

- Elderflower Lemonade (Golubka)

Let me know if you have other ideas, elder blossom inspiration, or experience! -h

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Elderflower and Coriander Vodka

You are going to have to take care to pluck just the blossoms from the stems and branches. All green parts of the plant and the roots are to be avoided. They are inedible.

1 bottle of vodka
a lot of fresh elderflower blossoms
a small handful of fresh coriander seeds and blossoms

Set whichever glass jars you aim to fill on the counter and fill with as few or many elderflower blossoms as possible. The more, the better. Be sure you're only placing the blossoms in the jars, not any stems, stalks, roots, or green parts of the plant. Add a small handful of fresh coriander seeds and blossoms to each container. Fill to the absolute top with vodka. It there is any air remaining at the top of the container the blossoms will brown more quickly than they would otherwise. Place in a dark place - the darker the better, for at least four days. Strain the vodka through a fine strainer (I find ~8 days to be my preference) - when it is fragrant, and flavorful. If you keep the flowers in the vodka, the flavor will change day after day, you can strain it when you like, really. It will keep, refrigerated, after straining, for a good stretch.

Prep time: 10 minutes

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I'm crying over here! I was introduced to elderflower (Hollander) syrup in sparkling water last year, during my first trip to Germany. Our hostess had a beautiful espaliered blooming elderberry. She explained her recipe to us, and I was determined to make some syrup myself. I saw elder blossoms this spring in Alaska, but haven't been able to find any here in Washington.


This looks like a wonderful recipe totally worth trying! Also sounds like the perfect summer drink :)


Elderflower is pretty common here in Denmark. Everybody loves to drink elderflower cordial in the summer. My mother sometimes makes deep-fried elderflower. She makes a thick pancake like batter. Dips one big flower head in the batter and fry them. (the stems are not dipped or eaten, they are just used as handle) Dust with icing sugar. :D Tasty! looks something like this: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/jun/19/nigel-slater-elderflower-fritter-classic The flower heads from my mothers tree were just huge :D


Sounds delicious. Elderflower and coriander are such a good pairing. Those two would also make for a delightful gin infusion. Just a bit of quality tonic, and that's a simple but very tasty cocktail.

Cocktail Enthusiast

Love the elderflower coriander combination! I make an elderflower-ginger cordial with brandy. It's more of a spiced warming winter drink. Your version sounds wonderful for the summer months.

Britt Stanley

This is a really lovely post. I particularly love your descriptions in the opening. I've never done much with elderflower, as I've never had the chance to see it grow anyplace (I'm in NYC). This sounds really lovely though. Thanks for sharing.

Angela Brown

This looks so beautiful! I'm also curious about the dried elderflower option, as I happen to have some in my pantry!


Thanks for the lovely post! I don't elderflower is grown on Maui, so I may need to try some other infusions.

Maui Girl Cooks

Dear Heidi, What a beautiful recipe and amazing photos! Thank you so much for the lemonade mention, it's a true honor :)


I wish we grew Elderflower up here in Alaska. I've seen some very lovely recipes using it! :) Just like this one!

Katie @ Produce on Parade

Incredible with muddled strawberries and prosecco.

Melissa Lavrinc Smith

We're lucky to have lots of elderflower around where I live in Sussex. This sounds like a great use for the flowers for a perfect summer drink. Sipping elderflower vodka in a sunny garden, maybe with Wimbledon on the radio ... bliss!


You had me with your title. Here's to drinking heavy grain alcohol with a healthy twist! Happy Nesting.

HS: ;)


I planted black lace elderflower bushes last year on the advice of The Drunken Botanist. They are so beautiful and the light pink flowers infuse the pink color into the cordial made with sugar water and lemon. The next batch of flowers are going straight into vodka


Sounds pretty good. It's a great way to have good flavor, without turning your drink into a calorie bomb!

Angel Reyes

What a lovely idea. I sure hope I can find some elder flowers, I'm intrigued as to how they taste.

Gwen @simplyhealthyfamily

I have a bunch of dried elderberry flowers. What do you think the proportion is for dried flowers? Are they more or less concentrated than the fresh?

Anne-Michelle Frances

Loving the mark of the seasons by the jars of whatnot infusing in the cupboards. I'll have to try the coriander with elderflower...thinking of selling the stuff to support the habit. :) Happy June!


I've got a massive elderflower bush in the yard, and every year I run through so many ways of using them, and I love them all. One of my favorites is to make gooseberry jam, and then to lay elderflowers in the pot over the jam, just to infuse it. It's a way of capturing the fragrance, without the slightly-medicinal taste that can come from soaking them. It's outlined in the River Cottage Preserves book, but I wrote about it here too: http://www.eatingfromthegroundup.com/2011/07/gooseberry-elderflower-jam/ Thank you for reminding me that elderflower season is on its way... Hope all is well with you- and happy summer! xo

Alana Chernila

So beautiful! I love these photos!

Liz @ Floating Kitchen

Euell Gibbons packed as many elderflowers as could fit into pancake batter and raved about it. Haven't tried it myself, yet.

Dave Anderson

I have never tasted elderflower but I am very intrigued... This, I must try.

Annie @ ciaochowbambina

I have been searching and searching for elderflowers because who doesn't love the nice floral taste? I have seen some of these recipes go around the blog-o-sphere, but I can't find them anywhere... oh woe.


hi heidi, i'm not lucky enough to have an access to fresh elderflower - so far. but i've got a couple of elderflower plants in our garden and been anxiously waiting for them to bloom in a few years so i can make my own cordial... and now, i've got this infused vodka to dream about too! gorgeous photos as always. x


This is such a beautiful idea, and a great addition to a pantry/bar for the summer. Thanks for the inspiration.

Alana Barton

I adore elderflower! I'll never forget I once had a bitter grapefruit and elderflower sorbet that totally rocked my world. The idea of pairing this heavily perfumed blossom with a green note of coriander is really interesting!

la domestique

I love the pretty taste of elderflower so much. They don't grow around where I live though. The addition of coriander is interesting!

leaf (the indolent cook)

The combination of elderflower and coriander sounds really intriguing; this sounds like a lovely fresh summer-y drink.


This looks wonderful! I remember when I first tried Elderflower Fanta (think they had a trial for this in Norway, they don't sell it anymore...dang!) I was so confused by the flavour, but once used to it - I really liked it! I can imagine this tastes really lovely! Do you reckon it would be nice to infuse white rum with as well? I don't drink vodka you see :) x

Jules @ WolfItDown

I love the sound of this! I'm obsessed with elder flower at the moment, although I have no idea where I can get the fresh flowers from here in Australia. :(

Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday

I posted my Mom's old school elderflower syrup recipe two years back ( > http://bit.ly/1uee0T2 ) It is still my favourite, but I will have to try to add some coriander to it! Great twist! Also, making elderberry juice and drinking it hot with lots of yummy spices in fall and winter is the perfect way to remedy a cold, or just get warm. So tasty and healthy! But thankfully we're still a few months away from that :)


Hi Heidi! This looks and sounds delicious. Do you have tips on finding elderflower blossoms in the Bay Area? Thank you.

HS: Hi Ambri - I've been seeing them here and there at the farmers markets primarily.


Elderflowers are something I've actually never had the pleasure of coming across in real life, yet! But I've done a similar thing steeping lemon zest and thyme leaves in vodka and it was lovely! xx

Emma Galloway

I love making infused vodkas and this is such a wonderful flavor combination!


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