I love elderflower cordial and always get excited when I see the first flowers coming into bloom. As the elderflower season is a short one, the flowers tend to start appearing towards the end of May and last till mid June, I made my first batch of elderflower cordial a couple of weeks ago.
This weekend we are in the country with my parents. I have noticed that there are still a lot of flowers in the hedgerows so today we are off foraging for a second batch.
If you are at a lose end today I urge you to try this recipe ... there is nothing more wonderful than serving your own delicious cordial to friends on hot summer days ...
ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL - Makes 5l
500g Elderflowers, 3l Water, 2.5kg Caster sugar, 100g citric acid, 4 Unwaxed lemons, 4 Unwaxed oranges
- Remove any dead bits and leaves from the elderflowers and place them in a colander and wash under cold running water. Leave to drain while you start making the cordial
- Pour 3l of water into a large saucepan and bring to the boil
- Once the water is boiling turn off the heat and add the sugar
- Stir the syrup until all the sugar has dissolved then leave to cool completely
- While the syrup is cooling wash and slice up the lemons and oranges
- Once the stock syrup is cold pour in the citric acid and stir until it has all dissolved
- Add the elderflowers, lemon and orange slices to the syrup making sure they are all covered in the water
- Place the mixture in a deep container, cover with cling film and place in a cool dark room or the fridge if you have room
- Let the cordial infuse for 48 hours, stirring every 12 hours
- After 48 hours you need to strain the cordial
- Place a large bowl or saucepan in the sink to catch the cordial, put a colander on top and lay a muslin over a colander. Pour the cordial with the elderflowers and fruit onto the muslin in the colander. Once the colander is full of flowers and fruit pick up the corners of the muslin and squeeze the cordial and juice out of the fruit. If you are making a large batch of cordial you may need to repeat this a couple of times
- Once you have strained the cordial pour into sterilised bottles and store in the fridge or a cool dark place
If you add the elderflowers to the syrup while the water is still boiling hot you will scorch the flowers giving the cordial a bitter taste.
This recipe makes quite a large amount of cordial, if you are making it for the first time or don’t have a very large pan, you might want to half the quantities.
I use oranges and unrefined sugar in this recipe which gives the cordial quite a dark colour, if you prefer a lighter cordial replace the oranges for lemons and use refined sugar.