Nettle Cordial Recipe

This Nettle Cordial Recipe makes a wonderfully refreshing Springtime drink. When friends put it to the taste test, pretty much everyone agreed that they couldn’t think of a single taste that this Nettle Cordial Recipe resembled.

There is so much that you can do with Nettles, and this is a great way to get those more reserved family members and friends to sample wild food.

Nettle Cordial Recipe Ingredients

  • 200g freshly picked nettle tops
  • 1kg granulated sugar
  • 40g citric acid (32 tbsp lemon juice).
  • 500ml water
  • Sterile glass bottles with tops, either screw or cork

Nettle Cordial Recipe Instructions

Step 1


Collect, wash and spin dry in a salad spinner 200g of nettle tops.

Step 2


Weigh out 1kg of granulated sugar

Step 3


Measure out 40g of citric acid. Citric acid can often be found in health shops or home brewing shops.

Step 4


Add the granulated sugar, citric acid and water to a large saucepan, and heat the mixture until it reaches 60 degrees C, then remove from the heat.

Step 5


Now add the Nettle leaves, and stir well so that they get covered with the liquid, then cover and leave for a week. Make sure that you stir your Nettle Cordial mixture daily.

Step 6


After a week is up, sterilise your bottles, then strain the liquid through a sieve or colander and bottle.

My batch lasted about 4 weeks. After opening a bottle, make sure that you refrigerate your Nettle Cordial.

Further reading: Traditional and Modern Use of Stinging Nettle


  1. I live in Las Vegas Nevada, We have lots of cactus but i don’t know about wild nettles. I do buy dried nettle here in town. Is there any reason i couldn’t use that, other than missing out on gathering it myself?

  2. Not a problem to use dried nettles you have bought from a shop. Best to just experiment. It will work, but might not have the pink colour that fresh nettles would give it.

  3. Hi Robin,
    Can you give us some further ideas for using these 4 bottles of nettle cordial in only 4 weeks? Besides in iced drinks and white or rosé wine (like cassis/Kir).
    I was thinking a courgette or carrot ‘poke’ cake, where you poke holes into the cake with a twig and pour some cordial over the top ?
    But can eat only so much cake! What else do you do with it?

  4. Thanks for this- will give it a go. I love nettles – soup and pesto mainly. I made nettle liqueur once and it was bloody awful . The taste was like nothing else- so I am making this next week.
    If you look at my Facebook page ( Cremona Hillside Farm ) you will see I am also a forager and learnt the art whilst stealing apples from orchards as a child.
    I live in Australia where foraging is not as popular as it is in Europe or the UK.
    I hope to change that !!!
    Great that I have found you !!!
    Cheers Kate

  5. Well who would have thought – a cordial from the humble nettle? I just began making a batch of elderflower cordial and this recipe came up as a suggestion. Off to get more sugar and pluck a load of nettle heads.


  6. Robin, is it essential to sterilise the bottles? I’ve never done that before but am a haphazard cook anyway. Can you use household bleach? Have you got your own method? I’ve got a brew ready to decant.

  7. Hi Robin,

    This looks great and I have lots of nettles around. I was wondering if I added a little yeast or just left the cordial to ferment a little could this recipe be altered in this way to make nettle beer?

  8. Hi Robin,

    I LOVE nettles – but never made cordial – so here’s to a new nettle recipe 🙂
    Can you use sweetener, such as Stevia instead of sugar? Im guessing so, so hope it’s not too much of a daft question.

    Thank you

  9. I have used this recipe before and had excellent nettle cordial but this time, the batch hasn’t changed colour and is still green…doesnt taste as nice either. Not sure what I did wrong. Any ideas?

  10. Hi
    One of my daughters favourite cordials! I’ve just made a a large quantity, possibly caught the nettles a bit late, but last year I made my second batch with flowering heads which turned out as good as any other.

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