When the Elderflower trees start sprouting their fragrant pretty flower heads, it marks the start of the English summer. So abundant, this tree lines many a public park or roadside. Once you are aware of it you begin to see them everywhere. So why not pick a few blossoms here and there and make yourself some delicious sweet and fragrant cordial at a very small cost and with minimal equipment needed…?
I recommend using a recipe like this one that uses citric acid. It is easy to find in the Home Brewing sections of shops such as Wilkinsons here in the UK and is inexpensive.
Here is what you need:
- 20 Elderflower heads (or to your own taste)
- 1.8kg granulated sugar
- 1.2 litres water
- 2 unwaxed lemons
- 75g citric acid
1. Shake the flowers and remove any debris and insects. Place into a large bowl
2. Place the sugar and water into a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring at times to help dissolve the sugar.
3. Whilst the sugar is dissolving, strip the zest from the lemons and place in the bowl with the flowers.
4. Slice the lemons and add to the bowl also.
5. When the sugar has dissolved and the water is boiling, pour over the flowers and lemons. Add the citric acid and stir well to mix. Now cover well and leave at room temperature for at least twenty four hours and up to five days. I left mine for two days.
6. When you have left it for long enough, get some sterilised bottles ready. I used three wine bottles. Strain the liquid through a sieve and some muslin or a new j-cloth that has been rinsed in boiling water. I caught the large items first in a colander. Ensure all of your equipment is clean also.
7. Use a clean funnel to ladle or pour the strained cordial into bottles. Label and decorate if you like…like this one here, which I gave as a gift with some gin and instructions of how to make a cocktail and recipe ideas.
Elderflower cordial is delicious simply topped up with soda and ice, can be added to gin or vodka and topped up with champagne or tonic water. It can be used to sweeten fruit for crumbles and other deserts and is also good poured over ice cream.
I’m going to try making some fruit jellies with mine: