The elderflower coming into blossom is one of the events that punctuates my year. I love the scent and I love the taste. Every year we make elderflower cordial. Enough to last the summer.
It has become a family tradition that AJ and dh collect the elderflowers. In all fairness, he is taller than the rest of us, which is an advantage. Usually, we can pick some from the garden and then they have to wander a bit further. This year, we managed to pick all of it from the garden, with more to come into blossom.
Here’s the recipe we use:
1 to 1.5k sugar ( I use caster, because it dissolves easily)
2.25 litres of boiling water
50 to 100g citric acid
20 to 40 heads of elderflowers, pick when they are dry and have yellow pollen on them (I like to collect them in a holey container and leave them while I do the mixture. Gives the bugs time to vacate the flowers.)
- Put the sugar and citric acid in a big bowl. I use a jam preserve pan.
- Pour the boiling water over the sugar and citric acid, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Squeeze and slice the lemons and add them to the bowl.
- Let it cool completely.
- Add the elderflowers, stems and all. Cover the bowl and leave it for 24 hours.
- Strain mixture through a jelly bag. You could use one of the feet from a pair of old clean tights.
Leave it to drain while you sort out the bottles. Sterilize the bottles in a low oven. I tend to do this is the bottom oven of my Aga. However you do it, make sure they are clean and sterilized. Carefully pour mixture into bottles. Screw on the lid and label.
We love the cordial as part of a drink. We add 1 part cordial to 4 parts of water, lemonade or sparkling mineral. On top of ice cream is a bit of a favourite. If nothing else, the fragrance of elderflower has spread around the house. Hmmmm.
Right I’m off to wash off all the stickiness, pour myself some cordial and catch up with an old copy of Country Living. Looking forward to reading about bread. And a poster.
I’d love to know what you do with your elderflower cordial. I’m looking for a tried and tested elderflower champagne recipe, if you have one.