A couple of weeks ago the kids and I went in search of elderflowers. There were literally hundreds of bushes along the riverside all teaming with pretty, creamy white flowers and giving off the most amazing scent. We loaded up our basket full of the freshest blooms we could find and took them home to make elderflower cordial. This syrupy cordial is pretty easy to make but very expensive to buy in the shops so it’s worth harvesting some wild elderflowers when they’re in season to bottle up some goodness of your own for the summer months ahead.
You will need:
- 1kg caster sugar
- l.5 litres of water
- 4 lemons, zest pares then lemons thickly slices
- 30-40 large elderflower heades with as much of the stalk removed as possible
- 55g citric acid (you can buy this in the chemist)
- Put the sugar and 1.5 litres water into the largest saucepan you have. Heat up gently but don’t let it boil. Stir through every now and then until the sugar has dissolved.
- Pare the zest from the lemons using a potato peeler, then slice the lemons into rounds.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the pan of syrup to the boil, then turn off the heat.
- Wash the elderflower heads gently to remove and bugs or dirt. Shake and place in the syrup with the lemons, zest and citric acid. Stir well, cover the pan and leave to infuse for 48 hrs.
- Sieve the syrup into a clean vessel and then strain again through a tea towel to make sure it’s free from any particles. Use a funnel and pour into sterilised bottles. It’s ready to drink straight away and will keep in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.
I love this served over ice with sparkling water and a slice of lemon. You can add a few fresh garden mint leaves too if you have them.