If you have never tried elderflowers, their taste is hard to describe – but if I had to give it a go, the word ethereal pops into mind. Once picked, the flowers fade quickly, so there is always a mad springtime rush to preserve their elusive flavour in cordials and syrups. Combined with citrus, elderflowers really sing.

1 litre





Skill level

Average: 3.4 (9 votes)


  • 220 g (1 cup) sugar
  • 4 heads elderflower, plus extra to serve 1 lemon, rind peeled off in strips
  • 1 tbsp liquid glucose
  • 150 ml lemon juice (from about 4–5 lemons)
  • sparkling wine, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Infusing time 30 minutes

Combine sugar, elderflowers, lemon rind and 250 ml (1 cup) water in a non-reactive saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Stir through glucose and lemon juice then remove from heat. Cover with a lid and set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to allow elderflower flavour to infuse.

Strain mixture, discarding lemon rind and elderflowers, then chill until cold. Churn in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Scoop sorbet into elegant glasses, pour over a little sparkling wine, garnish with elderflowers and serve immediately.


• If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, simply freeze the mixture in a container, then scrape ice into flakes with a fork to make a granita.


Recipe and image from The Agrarian Kitchen, Rodney Dunn, with photography by Luke Burgess (Lantern, $59.99 hbk).