This year is the first time I’ve made use of the elderflower heads from the trees that edge our allotment. It was easy to make and tasted delicious. Sadly no photos because we glugged it all before the camera arrived, including the bottles in the freezer! Roll on August when the elderberries will be out.
If you’re looking for an elderflower cordial recipe you’ll soon find that no two are the same. I adapted the recipe in the River Cottage Handbook: Preserves to produce about 4 litres of cordial.
makes about 4 litres
50 elderflower heads
Finely grated zest of 6 unwaxed lemons and 2 oranges plus their juice
2 heaped tsp citric acid (optional)
3 litres of boiling water
- Inspect the heads carefully and remove any insects (don’t wash them).
- Place in flower heads and all zest in a large bowl and pour over boiling water. Cover and leave overnight to infuse.
- Strain through a piece of muslin and pour into a saucepan.
- Add the sugar, lemon and orange juice and citric acid (if using)
- Heat gently to dissolve sugar then simmer for a couple of minutes
- Pour hot syrup into sterilised bottles.
The cordial will keep for several weeks (or longer if you’ve included citric acid). Pour into plastic bottles and freeze if you really want to make it last.