Elderflower cordial

Way back in June I had a wonderful first week of my uni holidays with elderflowers. There were a few bushes on a walk round beautiful Wicken Fen (which also has a great cafe). It’s always worth having a carrier bag in your pocket for these occasions…

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.com

Elderflowers look like this and smell sweet

Elder trees grow vigorously so are usually big with big white heads of flowers.

I tried a couple of recipes this year to compare, and the winner was:

  • 20 heads of elderflower
  • 2 lemons
  • 1.8kg sugar
  • 1.2l water
  • 75g citric acid (from a pharmacy or Cutlacks-equivalent)
  1. Heat the sugar and water until dissolved
  2. Slice the lemon and remove as much of the elder stalk as possible
  3. Pour the sugar syrup over, and add the citric acid.
  4. Leave for 2 days and then strain through a J-cloth (or muslin if you have one) that has been cleaned with boiling water

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This year’s slight disaster was that the sugar all sank to the bottom and un-dissolved itself, leaving this rock-hard sugary base in my saucepan and bowl. The cordial was still delicious even with less sugar in the final mixture.

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I sterilised and re-used wine bottles to store it and made little labels for the bottles I was giving away as presents.

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