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

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  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. Do I need to keep the unopened bottles in a fridge or is a garage ok? And it lasts 4 weeks – is that at ambient temp?
    Many thanks

  4. 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?

  5. 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

  6. 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.


  7. My cordial didn’t turn pink, have I done something wrong?! I might have got the amount of lemon juice wrong as I halved all amounts.

  8. Just made my first batch and what an easy process. I think I used to much stem but still a great taste.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. I make nettle fertiliser by steeping nettles in water for 2 weeks and the smell is truly dreadful – does this smell bad too?

  12. Hi Robin, roughly how much cordial doors the recipe make? Working out the required bottle capacity. Alex

  13. 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

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