The fragrant elderflower is as versatile as it is elegant, and can be a wonderful addition to many dessert and drinks recipes. Perfect for long summer evenings – why not try simply mixing with sparkling water or add to prosecco or champagne.
Makes approx. 4 litres
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Steeping takes 24 hours
- 2 ½kg white sugar, either granulated or caster is fine
- 2 unwaxed lemons
- 20 fresh elderflower heads, stalks trimmed
- 85g citric acid (from chemists)
- Put the sugar and 1.5 litres/2¾ pints water into a large saucepan. Gently heat, without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved, stirring every now and again. Zest the lemons, (removing the very outer layer of skin from a citrus fruit). use a potato peeler if you don’t have a specific tool and then slice the lemons.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the pan of syrup to the boil, then turn off the heat. Fill a bowl with cold water. Give the flowers a gentle swish around to loosen any dirt or bugs. Lift flowers out, gently shake and transfer to the syrup along with the lemons, zest and citric acid, then stir well. Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 24 hrs.
- Line a colander with a clean tea towel, then sit it over a large bowl or pan. Ladle in the syrup – let it drip slowly through. Discard the bits left in the towel. Use a funnel and a ladle to fill sterilised bottles (run glass bottles through the dishwasher, then leave to dry in a low oven). The cordial is ready to drink diluted straight away and will keep in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. Or freeze it in plastic containers or ice cube trays and defrost as needed.
Adapted from a recipe by Jane Hornby