Make your own elderflower cordial with this easy recipe that will keep for ages and you can use to make so many summer drinks. Look out for the frothy white heads of elderflowers in gardens and parks across the UK in May and June. All you need to make elderflower cordial is 4 ingredients, then you leave it to steep and the flavours to develop. When it’s ready, decant it into steralised glass bottles and jars to use it when you need it or give it as a gift (yes, we’re thinking Christmas!). Elderflower cordial tastes just like summer diluted with sparkling mineral water with slice of lemon and a few fresh mint sprigs. Or for a special occasion, mix with sparkling white or rose wine. The cordial can also be used in fruit fools, jellies and mousses and goes particularly well with gooseberries.
- 15 large elderflower heads
- 900g caster sugar
- 2 large unwaxed lemons, sliced
- 2.4 litres boiling water
- 50g citric acid (available from chemists)
Shake then lightly rinse the elderflower heads to remove any dirt or tiny insects. If you collected them near a road or low to the ground you can soak them in water with a few drops of vinegar added to make sure they’re nice and clean
Next put the sugar in a large mixing bowl with the lemon slices, boiling water and citric acid and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the elderflower heads, cover and leave in a cool place for 24 hrs, stirring occasionally.
Strain the mixture through muslin into a large clean bowl then transfer to sterilised bottles. Seal and store in a cool dark place. To serve, dilute with sparkling mineral water and decorate with fresh mint sprigs, if liked.
To sterilise the bottles, thoroughly wash and rinise then place in a warm oven for about 10 mins until dry and hot. Once opened, the bottle of cordial should be kept in the fridge and used within 1 week.