Elderflower Cordial

This entry is filed under Drinks.

elderflower-cordial
Click the link for Elderflower & Strawberry Jelly – a real show stopper!

Last week I realised it’s the simple things in life that make me happiest. I had one of those rare and perfect moments of total contentment meandering through the countryside enjoying the English weather at its best.

blue-sky-elderflowersUplifting blue skies and a warm summer breeze made the simple task of elderflower picking all the more enjoyable. These delicate creamy white flowers with their large frothy heads reminiscent of lace doylies are prolific in hedgerows everywhere and are at their peak now. Be warned, the flowering season is remarkably short – all of two weeks (between the end of May and start of June) so if you want to indulge in some honest to goodness old fashioned cordial making now is the time to do it.

glass-elderflowerAside from having refreshing, thirst quenching properties, this delicately fragranced juice imparts an intensely floral overtone to all manner of desserts – jellies, fools and ice creams in particular and is just the job when a taste of summer is needed.

During my research I noticed all the cordial recipes were way too sweet and bland for my liking. Therefore I’ve upped the flower content and cut back on the sugar. The result is a clean tasting, tangy juice.

steeping-elderflowers-1To get the same result be prepared to pick a ton of flowers not just 15 heads as is the norm and steep for a minimum of 48 hours in a cool room not just 24 hours before bottling.  It helps to weigh down the flowers with a plate so they stay submerged.

The addition of citric acid will notch up the tartness no end and is a vital ingredient. I’ve added 35g here but play around with it – anywhere between 25g – 50g should be sufficient. You won’t find citric acid in the supermarket, but your local pharmacist should stock it.  Another point worth mentioning is this cordial is less viscous than commercial varieties and therefore doesn’t require as much dilution. Use it undiluted for a stunningly good jelly with passion fruit over tones. And so to the recipe…

Elderflower Cordial

Makes: 2.2 litres
Effort Level: dead easy

Ingredients:
2.2 litres water
1/2 kg elderflowers
750g granulated sugar
35g citric acid
3 lemons
2 limes

Equipment:
Medium saucepan
Large measuring jug
Large sterilised bucket or bowl

Here’s What You Do:
Start by tipping the sugar into the saucepan and just cover with boiling water. Place on a high heat and stir until dissolved. Tip into the bucket and top up with enough cold water to bring the total amount to two litres.

Wash and cut the limes and sugar into slices and add to the bucket along with the citric acid.

Shake the elderflowers to remove any bugs and loose leaves then immerse them into the water. Weigh down with a plate to keep the flowers submerged below the water level and cover with a lid. Leave to steep in a cool room for a minimum of 48 hours.

Pass the cordial through a fine sieve then pour into sterilised bottles and keep refrigerated.

6 Responses to “Elderflower Cordial”

  1. Uma says:

    When you next call by Sue come in for a glass!

  2. Sue Townsend says:

    Brilliant – have been looking for a decent recipe for ages. I am off picking !!
    XX

  3. Uma says:

    Wait till the sun shines, the taste suffers if picked when soggy from the rain. Enjoy x

  4. Susan Robson says:

    Sounds thirstquenchingly fabulous!
    Will get the walking shoes on – to Elderflowerinity and beyond ………….

  5. Beryl says:

    Nice post. Your blog is always so interesting 🙂 Thank you Uma!

  6. Keeley says:

    Thanks for another wonderful post. Where else could anyone get that type of information in such a perfect way of writing?

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