One of the most refreshing drinks for the summer is an Elderflower Cordial. This recipe is quick and easy to make and a great excuse for a long walk collecting flowers.
The Elderflower season is short, late May to the latest, mid-July if you live in the the north or Scotland. The heavily scented flowers make a wonderful, refreshing drink which, when stored in sterilized bottles will keep for several weeks.
A word of warning: if you are out collecting Elderflowers, make sure you have permission to pick them and never pick flowers from trees on roadsides as they may be tainted with petrol fumes.
Though the cordial does make a refreshing drink, it is also useful in many different recipes too. Take a look at my favorite 10 Elderflower recipes here.
If you are about to make a batch of cordial, then you may like to look at my Top Tips for Making Elderflower Cordial they will help you on your way.
- 1k /2 ¼ lbs sugar
- 1.5 liters / 6 cups boiling water
- 4 medium lemons, washed
- 30 large Elderflower heads, shake to remove any insects
- 55g / 2 oz citric acid (available from a chemist
- Place the sugar into a large saucepan/stockpot or a large Pyrex bowl. Pour the boiling water over and stir until all the sugar has dissolved and leave to cool.
- Grate the rind of the lemons with a fine grater, add to the sugar water.
- Slice the lemons into thick slices and add to the water. Add the citric acid and stir, then finally add the flower heads to the water and stir again.
- Cover with a clean cloth and leave to steep for 48 hours.
- Strain through clean fine muslin cloth into a clean bowl.
- Using a funnel, fill sterilized bottles (see note below). Seal and store in a cool, dark place (not the refrigerator) for a few weeks or freeze in plastic bottles to keep for longer (see note below).
The cordial is delicious diluted with still or fizzy water or used as a flavoring in ice creams, fruit fools and many, many other recipes.
Once a bottle is opened store in the refrigerator.
Note To sterilize the bottles, rinse in the dishwasher, or place in a medium hot oven (300°F/150°C) until the bottles are warmed through but not red-hot.
If you want your Elderflower Cordial to last longer than a few weeks you will need to preserve the cordial by sterilizing in a water bath which is not as difficult as it sounds.