It seems to be a great year for elderflowers – perhaps its the fantastic weather we’ve been enjoying down here in the sunny South East.  It seems a shame to let such a wonderful free ingredient go to waste, so Anne made a batch of elderflower cordial this week.

1.5 litres of water
450g raw cane sugar
12-13 heads of elderflowers
1 tsp citric acid (you should be able to get this in your local Pharmacy)
1 lemon (preferably unwaxed), sliced

Give the elderflowers a gentle shake to remove any bugs etc. Put all of the ingredients except the water into a large mixing bowl. Boil the water and pour it over the contents of the bowl. Stir gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. You may well detect a smell of cat pee at this point – don’t worry it will all be worth it.

Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave undisturbed for 24 hours in a cool place.  Stir again, cover and leave for another day.  Finally, stir again and strain the liquid into sterilised glass or plastic containers.

To use, dilute roughly 1:5 with still or sparkling water. This will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.  Better still,  make a big batch and freeze it in ice cube trays.

This cordial is really versatile – use it as a refreshing drink, drizzle it over ice cream or put it into salad dressings.  Also, make sure to add a splash if you are cooking Gooseberries (which are in season right now) – the two flavours really seem to go together.

Remember to leave enough elderflowers on the tree to turn into berries.  Not only will this provide a great food source for the birds later in the year, we also have a great recipe for elderberry cordial to use throughout the winter to keep coughs & colds at bay.

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