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Elderflower Cordial - Recipe


Elderflower Cordial

These last few weeks it really has felt like summer has arrived and nothing feels more summery than a long glass of sparkling elderflower cordial.


Making elderflower cordial is pretty straight forward (it's very hard to go wrong!) I’ve included a recipe below that was passed down to me from my mum. If you're going to drink it straight away then feel free to leave out the citric acid - it's just there to prolong shelf life. I tend to decant mine into plastic bottles and freeze them so I can enjoy it all year round, in fact - I've only just defrosted my final bottle from last year's preserving.


Ingredients

  • 25 elderflower heads

  • 1.5 kg granulated sugar

  • 1.5 litres water

  • 3 lemons zested and juiced

  • 1 orange zested and juiced

  • 75g citric acid (optional)


Harvesting Elderflowers

Elderflowers are typically in bloom during late spring and early summer, so this is the ideal time to go foraging. Look for elderflower heads with fully open flowers and a sweet aroma. It's important to harvest the flowers on a dry day, preferably in the morning when the blossoms are at their most fragrant.

Before you head out look at some guides to make sure you're harvesting the right plant. Although I think elderflower is one of the easiest items to forage as you’ll recognise its scent straight away.


Making the Cordial

  1. Gently shake the elderflower heads to remove any insects or debris.

  2. In a large saucepan place elderflower heads, orange and lemon zest and 1.5 litres of water. Cover the saucepan with a clean cloth or a lid and let the mixture steep at room temperature for 24-48 hours. This allows the flavours to infuse.

  3. Strain the elderflower and zest, keeping hold of your steeped liquid.

  4. Put the liquid back to your saucepan, adding the juice and sugar. Heat slowly until all the sugar is dissolved. (discard the elderflowers and zest)

  5. Stir in the citric acid and give the mixture a gentle stir.

  6. Pour the cordial into sterilised bottles, leaving a little headspace. Seal the bottles tightly.

  7. Store the cordial in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or refrigerator. It can last for several months when stored properly.


Enjoy!

To enjoy your homemade elderflower cordial, dilute it with still or sparkling water. You can also add a sprig of fresh mint or a slice of lemon, or add syrup to sparkling wine or gin for a grown up treat.


As well as drinks you can use elderflower syrup as you would vanilla essence in cakes and other sweet treats.


Tips

  • Elderflowers turn into elderberries, so if you want to utilise elderberries later in the year leave some heads on the bush.

  • Want a zesty twist? my freind Georgina gave me the great tip of swapping out the orange for a grapefruit!


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