A slightly different one this time! It’s finally the time of year where elderflower is in full bloom. On my morning walk, I came across an elderflower bush so I decided to take advantage of these beautiful flowers and made cordial! I made two different batches using two different techniques, and here is my recipe as a result.
You will need:
- 20+ elderflower heads
- Roughly 500g of sugar
- 1 litre of water
- 2 lemons
- Citric acid (optional)
- A cloth to strain
- The first step is to prepare everything. You will need a saucepan to put everything in, and you will need to trim the stalks of the elderflower so that all that is remaining is the heads. Then shake! Don’t rinse the flowers, as this can damage them. Shake the flowers to get rid of any insects.
- Next step is to make the syrup! This seemed strange to me, as I thought it would be best to infuse the flowers in the syrup as I was cooking, but this turned out to be a waste, as the flowers are too delicate to boil. Put 1 litre of water into a saucepan, along with roughly 500g of sugar. This is only a rough guideline as I found that using less sugar allowed the flavour of the elderflower to come through easier, and it is more enjoyable to drink as it isn’t too sweet. It will probably be a good idea to taste the syrup and add extra sugar if you don’t think it’s sweet enough. Then, you will need to zest the lemons, and chop them into rounds, and add everything to the syrup along with the citric acid if you are using it. I decided not to use citric acid as my chemist didn’t stock it, but this will ensure that the cordial keeps for longer.
- Bring this mixture to the boil – and stir to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved, take the syrup off the heat. I left mine to boil for a little while longer, as I like a thicker consistency – act according to personal taste.
- Now, once the syrup is made, remove the lemon and add your elderflower heads into the syrup. Cover with a lid and leave for 24hours to infuse. I decided to add extra flowers 12 hours into the infusion to add another boost of flavour.
- Once infused, get a tea towel/dishcloth/cheese cloth and a jug, and strain your syrup. It will hopefully have gone golden over the course of the 24-hour infusion.
- Once you have separated the debris from the syrup, add to your container of choice. This is the perfect opportunity to use up those saved gin bottles you swore you would turn into a light fixture! The cordial can be kept into the fridge for up to 6 weeks – if it lasts that long!
Top tip: Freeze the cordial in ice-cube trays or put in ice-cube bags to preserve for longer. Enjoy an elderflower ice-cube with a G&T! You can also freeze the flowers to use at a later date.
Thanks to my Mum for inspiring me to do this!