I saw friends for dinner last night and they asked how it's made. As I explained I realised just how easy it is, so I do hope you'll give it a go, you'll have delicous sweet cordial to enjoy all Summer long.
What you'll need:
- 30/40 elderflower heads (only took me about 10 minutes to snip these at the park when I found a tree with nice bendy branches so I could reach!)
-4 unwaxed lemons
-4kg sugar (granulated is fine)
-extra large preserving pan or stock pot (I didn't have one big enough so split the liquid in two before adding the elderflower)
- 50gms Citric Acid (I found mine at my local Chemist)
-A piece of muslin to strain the cordial through when it's ready
-Sterile glass or plastic bottles to pour the cordial into (I use glass for the fridge and plastic ones which I can pop in the freezer.)
-Leave the flower heads on a teatowel to let the creepy crawlies hiding in them to crawl away. I shook mine out in the sink and also ran them under cold water (I have a thing about bugs) although I'm sure it's best not to wash the lovely pollen away if you can help it!
-Bring 4 litres of water to the boil
-Add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved
-Take water off the heat and add the Elderflower heads
-Add the zest of the lemons, then quarter and squeeze them and then add them into the pan too
-Stir in the Citric Acid
-As an optional extra you can add a handful of fresh mint. I added mint to one of my pans (once I'd divided the liquid) as it's lovely and refreshing.
-Pop a teatowel over the pan to cover it and leave the liquid to steep in a cool place for 2 to 3 days.
-When it's ready, remove the Elderflower heads and lemons and strain the liquid through a muslin square into a fresh pan or large jug.
-Pour your liquid into your labelled bottles
-Enjoy in your drinks ALL summer long! I can highly recommend it with sparkling water, or added to a Gin and Tonic for a little something special!
I made this on Thursday afternoon so mine is nearly ready, hence the lack of nicely bottled cordial photos to show you! Here's what it looks like right now.
I have to say, that this is a recipe passed to me by my parents, they seem to have a constant supply of cordial in their fridge! I've been using it for the last few years and have very fond memories of going on a walk with Sam and Wilf when he was just a few weeks old, fast asleep in his Baby Bjorn, to collect Elderflower heads. My parents were staying as Sam's Paternity leave was about to finish, they told us that if we picked the flowers they'd make it for us!
Another Summer a few years ago, my making was less than successful and involved a Kilner Jar falling out of the fridge and smashing sticky, sweet cordial ALL over the kitchen floor.
I hope you give this a go, once you've tried it you'll realise just how easy it is. Hopefully you'll also look back in years to come with happy memories of the adventures you've had making and enjoying this delicious Summer drink.