Beautiful elderflowers are in bloom in hedges and gardens at the moment, leave them for berries (recipe to follow in due course) or turn them into Elderflower Cordial. Just as delicious as anything bought in the health food shop – and for the price of the sugar!
Pick elderflower heads on a sunny dry day, about 25 of them. Look through them for any residents bugs and pick them out.
Place the flowers heads in a heat proof pan or bowl. Grate the zest & juice of one lemon & one orange – preferably organic & unwaxed – into the pan. Pour 1.5 litres of boiling water over all of the ingredients, cover and leave overnight to brew.
The following day strain the mixture through a piece of muslin. Put into a pan, add 1 kg of sugar (again organic preferably) put on the heat, and bring gently to the boil. Simmer carefully stirring all the while, until the sugar is dissolved.
Sterilise some bottles (I put well washed & rinsed bottle into a pan with a little water in it, and bring to a boil. It’s a sort of bain marie method, and gets the bottles nice & hot!).
Using a funnel, pour the syrup into the bottles, leaving 2cm at the top.
Keeps for a couple of months – chances are it won’t last that long! Dilute with water, and enjoy.
Elderflower (white) intertwined with foxgloves in my hedge. Don’t use the foxglove! But the white elder is particularly fragrant.