All citrus fruit is from our local greengrocer and the sugar is from our local package-free shop. Elderflowers from the garden!
INGREDIENTS (makes 3l of cordial)
- 800g sugar
- 25 sprigs of freshly picked elderflowers
- 3 litres water
- 2 lemons
- 1 orange
- 10g citric acid (optional, but we like the added layer of flavour that citric acid gives and it also helps the cordial store for longer)
TIP: pick the elderflowers on a dry day when the flower pollen is at its best and has most flavour.
TIP: choose the new flowers that are bursting with pollen as they will have more flavour.
- Make the syrup: place the water and sugar in a pan. Slowly heat, stirring to help dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is fully dissolved bring to a boil. Boil for 5-10 minutes.
- Pour the syrup into a large bowl and leave to thoroughly cool.
- Check the elderflowers for any insects, remove them gently (do not wash the flowers otherwise you will lose all the flavour)
- Zest/peel the oranges and lemons, then slice the lemons and oranges.
- Place the elderflowers in the cold syrup, flower side down and submerge. Add in the orange and lemon slices and zest.
- Cover and leave to infuse overnight.
- Using a fine muslin, strain the liquid. If you still have bits in the cordial, strain again through a double layer of muslin.
- Add the citric acid and stir in well.
- Decant the cordial into sterilised bottles that seal.
- Store in a very cool place. Once open, keep in the fridge.
We found the cordial wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer day when mixed with chilled tonic water. We also love adding elderflowers cordial to fresh fruit salad or to give a little juice to strawberries.
Now we have found a recipe that works, I think we’ll start making homemade elderflower every year (and more than 3 bottles!)