Elderflower cordial is one of those things that’s deeply satisfying to make. This is an easy recipe & has a lovely, fresh flavour & tastes so much better than any that I’ve ever bought.
I’ve always been shocked at the amount of sugar that’s required, & experimented with reducing the amount in an effort to make a healthier drink. In the end I decided that it compromises the taste too much & it’s better to have the full-on drink less often, than a thinner tasting one more frequently.
All you need is:
20 elderflower heads
1.3 kg granulated sugar
1 orange, 1 lime & 1 lemon sliced thinly
30g citric acid
1.5 litres of water
4-5 small plastic or glass bottles to store it in
a heavy saucepan large enough for the water
a bowl large enough for the liquid, flowers & fruit.
- Add the sugar & water to the saucepan, heat to dissolve the sugar.
- Then add the elderflowers & turn the heat off as soon as it reaches the boil.
- Put the sliced fruit into the bowl, add the citric acid & pour the hot syrup & flowers over them.
- Stir it all together, cover with a tea-cloth & leave for 24 hours then strain into bottles.
I fill small plastic bottles & keep them in the freezer until I use them, even though the citric acid is a preservative, I just want to be extra sure they keep well.
Of course plastic bottles can’t be boiled, I wash them in hot soapy water then rinse them in hot water.
Glass bottles look much nicer, especially if you want to give some as gifts. Just submerge the bottles in a pan of hot water & bring it to the boil, just before use. Keep them in the hot water until they’re ready to be filled.
I used elderflower cordial to make this elderflower & gooseberry cake. The flavours are a combination of wonderful summer flavours.
The cake recipe is here
The cordial recipe is adapted from a Sarah Raven recipe, I used less citric fruit.
all photos: Jill Anderson.