A year ago when I got together with my boyfriend he asked to make Elderflower cordial. Unfortunately we never got round to making it, but promised each other that we wouldn’t miss the season next year. So this year, once all the rain had cleared up we took our Smudge puppy on our favourite nature walk and picked the flowers we needed for the recipe.
If you have a family, or just like Elderflower cordial, this recipe is so simple that everyone can get involved. Just plan ahead of when you are going to want to have it as it needs some time to infuse. Hope you have as much fun as we did!
20 (or more if you like it stronger) x heads of freshly picked Elderflower
2.5kg x white granulated sugar
1.5lt x water
2 x lemons
85g x citric acid (this is hard to find, I found the best place was Amazon.com)
1.Get the largest pan you can (we used an 8lt jam pan which was plenty big enough) and add the sugar and the water. Heat the pan until the all the sugar dissolves without boiling it.
2.Rinse the flowers in cold water to remove any dirt (or creepy crawlies, eeek!). Use a peeler to take the zest off the lemon and then cut the lemons into slices.
3.Once all the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil, then turn off the heat. Now add the clean flowers, the lemon zest and slices and the citric acid. Give a stir and allow to infuse for at least 24 hours (we left ours for two days which gave it a stronger taste).
4. Strain the syrup through a colander which has a clean towel in it to catch all the loose bits so that the syrup comes through clear. Ladle the syrup into the colander and let it dip through slowly.
5.Whilst that’s filtering, sterilise the bottles. This is where doing a biology degree comes in handy; to sterilise, wash the bottles in hot water and soap (or the dishwasher) and then dry in them in the oven on a low heat. Best to do the lids as well if you’re using screw tops like we did. To ensure the cordial lasts as long as possible though it is best to use a bottle that is tightly sealed with something like a cork.
6.Using a funnel, put the syrup in the bottles and store in the fridge. It should keep for 6 weeks, or freeze for future use.
I found that the recipe makes about 4 wine bottles of cordial. If you’re not happy with it just with water, there’s nothing wrong with adding it to a gin and tonic!