Don’t you just love those little pretty flowers? they smell so sweet and are incredibly tasty in a refreshing, fragrant cordial – perfect for those warm summer days.
During late May and June, forage the elderflower heads on a sunny day’s morning, avoid picking them after the rain (as all the tastiness will be washed out). If you enjoy the scent of wild roses as much as I do, get a few handfuls of the petals (the added rose taste and colour are incredible!)
Once you have them home, don’t rinse them (for the same reason), but simply shake off little bugs gently!
What you need:
20 fresh elderflower heads (sambucus nigra)
1 kg sugar (granulated or caster)
optional: 2 handfuls of wild rose petals
2 unwaxed lemons, zested and juiced
30g citric acid (from chemist)
Look out the biggest sauce pan you have and put 1.5l water and the sugar in, heat gently (don’t boil!) and stir, until all the sugar has dissolved. At that point, turn up the heat, until boiling, and then turn off the heat!
Pare the zest from the lemons and cut the lemons into slices, and pop it all in, along with the elderflowers, and the citric acid.
Stir well, cover the pan and leave to infuse for 24hours.
Line a colander with a clean towel, let it sit over a large bowl and ladle the syrup in and let it drip through slowly!
Discard of the bits left in the towel and ladle the syrup into sterilised glass bottles, using a funnel.
The cordial can be enjoyed straight away, or will keep in the fridge for 6 weeks. You can freeze it in icecube trays, too and use when needed.
Mix with sparkling water to create elderflower pressé, or add to wine, prosecco or champagne – there are so many fun ways to use it!