You know those verdant, early summer days when you breathe in deep and just want to bottle that feeling of pure summer? Well I find the best way to capture summer is to make the heady, fragrant wonder that is Elderflower Cordial.
I keep a bottle of the finished cordial in the fridge – for drinks, desserts and fruit salads – and freeze some in ice cube trays, so there’s always a portion to hand.
40-50 Elderflower heads
2 Kg White Sugar
3 Unwaxed Lemons (zested and sliced into rounds)
85g Citric Acid (Optional – to preserve)
Choose your biggest pan.
Over a low-medium heat, dissolve the sugar in 2 litres of water.
Once dissolved, bring the syrup up to a boil then turn off heat.
Shake/pick over elderflowers for bugs – do NOT wash as this removes much of the pollen. Trim off stalks and add to the pan of syrup along with lemon slices and zest, and citric acid, if using.
Cover and leave for 24-36 hours.
Line a colander with a muslin and place over a large bowl/pan. Carefully pour in the syrup, allowing it to drip through and discard any debris left in the muslin (this may be easier done in two batches).
Decant into sterilised bottles using a funnel and keep in the fridge up to 6 weeks, or freeze.