I love this time of year, the sun is shining (Ok maybe it has taken a little break where I am today), the birds are singing and everyone just seems that little bit happier! On an evening walk a couple of weeks ago I saw the familiar but beautiful site of Elderflower bushes lining the path. Since then I have spotted them everywhere and it feels like they are in abundance this year! Last year I was a little bit too late to make anything with Elderflowers, so as soon as I saw the beautiful bunches of Elderflowers I knew I had to act fast.
Basket in hand I returned after a sunny and dry day (apparently the best time to pick Elderflowers) and selected the biggest and best bunches I could find. I absolutely loved collecting the Elderflowers and found it so therapeutic! Once my basket was almost full and the dogs were exhausted from their energetic walk, I returned home to set about making my very first Elderflower Cordial!
I have to say I really enjoyed making this cordial, it is long winded in the sense it has to steep over night (this is no 30 minute recipe) but there is so much pleasure in creating something so rustic and homemade. I was like a child on Christmas day morning though, as I couldn’t resist peeping under the tea towel to check on the cordial at far too many intervals! As it was Father’s Day the weekend I made the cordial I gave a bottle of cordial to my mum and dad (so far it has been a success) and we ourselves kept a bottle. I would say this recipe makes two 1 litre bottles with enough left over for a smaller bottle, so plenty to enjoy over Summer!
- 30 heads of Elderflower
- 1.8 kg granulated sugar/caster sugar
- 1.2 litres water
- 2 lemons (freshest you can get)
- 50 g citric acid
As you can imagine being out in the hedgerows and being so pretty the Elderflowers attract a lot of insects. Before you start making the cordial lightly shake the Elderflowers off outside to get rid of any insects. Then place them in a large bowl (I used my Kenwood mixing bowl) and place to one side.
Grate the lemon zest and slice the two lemons thinly, once done add the zest and slices to the bowl with the Elderflowers.
Next to make the syrup place the sugar and water into a pan and place on a medium to low heat, bringing it to the boil. Stir the syrup solution until the sugar has dissolved.
Once the sugar has dissolved pour the boiling syrup onto the Elderflowers and lemons in the bowl. Stir in the Citric Acid and then cover with a clean tea towel. The mixture will need to steep for at least 24 hours (I left mine for 36 hours) at room temperature.
When the mixture is ready line a sieve with muslin to pass the cordial through. If you don’t have any muslin (like me) line a colander with a clean tea towel (I used the one that had covered the cordial) and place this over a wide enough bowl. Pour the mixture through the colander/sieve until all the mixture has passed through. Then ladle the mixture into your prepared and sterilized bottles. Attach the lid firmly and store somewhere safe.
Quite simply it is Summer in a glass! Please do let me know if you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how you get on!