Easy Elderflower Cordial
This recipe shows just how easy it is to make. A couple of tips though, do not pick the flowers near a roadside as the flowers will be tainted, pick early morning if you can and no trespassing; there are plenty of trees not on private land to find the flowers.
For the Cordial
30 – 40 large elderflower heads
1 k sugar
1.5 litres boiling water
4 large unwaxed organic lemons
55 g citric acid (from a local pharmacy)
Large saucepan, bowl or small bucket
Clean tea towel
Clean sterilised bottles, glass or plastic (see note in the recipe)
Make the cordial:
- Start by cleaning your flowers which are easier than you may think. Hold each flower head by the stem and shake gently over a sheet of newspaper, any creatures lurking in flower (and who could blame them with all that sweetness) should fall out. Keep the flowers to one side.
- Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water in a large saucepan or heatproof bowl. Leave it to cool.
- Finely grate the rind of the lemon into the sugar-water, thickly slice the lemons and add to the sugar-water with the citric acid and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
- Finally, add the cleaned flower heads and give the mixture another good stir.
- Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool, not cold place for a minimum of 48 hours.
Using a chinois (fine sieve) if you have one, or a sieve lined with a muslin cloth, strain the liquid into a clean bowl or large jug. Discard the flowers and lemons.
Bottling the Elderflower Cordial:
Fill, pretty sterilised bottles with the elderflower cordial, seal with a screw cap or cork and put somewhere cool and dark for a couple of weeks and the cordial is ready to drink. If you wish to keep it for longer, then the sealed bottles will need to be sterilised in a water bath. Or, the cordial freezes very well but use plastic bottles not glass, you can decant the cordial into a pretty jug or bottle after defrosting. Once opened, keep the bottle in the refrigerator.
The elderflower cordial is delicious diluted with still or fizzy water or used as a flavouring in ice creams, fruit fools (puréed fruit mixed with whipped cream), and other recipes.