A Taste of Summer…..

by Kat Weatherill

Elderflower cordial…..

The delicate creamy white flowers of the common elderberry (Sambuscus Nigra) are normally seen from late May and into June, but as our summer has been a little delayed this year, the flowers are now at their best and filling the air with their sweet honey aroma.

It is said that these perfumed flowers are a signal of the arrival of summer – Hurrah! Better late than never! So fingers crossed, after you have made this delicate Elderflower cordial you may be able to enjoy it on a balmy summers evening…..

Ingredients to make 1.5L of cordial -

1.15 Litres of cold water
1.35kg Granulated sugar
Flowers from 15-20 Elderflower heads (washed)
4 lemons, thinly sliced (as an alternative you can use 2 lemons, 1 lime & 1 orange all thinly sliced ) 
30g Citric acid (available from chemists)
 
  • Wash the Elderflowers, remove florets from the Elderflower heads using a fork (avoid adding stems or leaves to the mixture)

 
  • Put 1.15 litres of water and the sugar into a into a pan, dissolve the sugar before bringing to the boil.
  • Add the flowers and return to the boil then remove from the heat immediately.

  • Put the sliced fruit into a large bowl, add the citric acid and pour in the hot syrup and flowers.
  • Stir well then cover loosely for 24 hours.

  • Strain through a muslin cloth, then pour into sterilised bottles and seal. (Glass bottles can be sterilised by placing in a COLD oven, turn the heat to 160 degrees C, once the temperature of the oven reaches 160c, remove and allow to cool.)

Your cordial will keep well for at least three months. It also makes a lovely gift to take along to a summer party. Serve with chilled sparkling water or English sparkling wine.

Elderflowers should be picked early in the season (when creamy coloured and flowers fully opened) on a warm sunny day (if possible!) and preferably in there morning. Use the flowers immediately.