I love to see the first of the elderflower blossom as it means it’s cordial making time. This year it seems to be quite early as we have had lots of lovely weather so it’s a good opportunity to get out on your daily walk and then try a recipe. When you start looking for it, it seems to be everywhere – on towpaths, fences, gardens and hedgerows. Its creamy white flowers send out a sweet floral fragrance, especially on warm sunny days which is the best time to pick them to capture its optimum flavour for cordial. Try and pick flowers higher up as they receive more sun and not at the mercy of dogs passing by.
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NOTE: You can buy citric acid from the chemist or online, it helps preserve the cordial
1. In a large stainless steel pot bring the water and sugar to the boil. While that’s happening, sort through your pickings and trim them up of any leaves and large stalks and check there are no little black bugs. If there are, just cut off the flowers and throw away the affected piece.
2. Let the water cool, but first whisk in your citric acid to dissolve.
3. When the water has cooled add the lemon and elderflower. Stir gently, cover and leave out at room temperature for 24 hours.
4. The next day drain off the flowers and lemon and pass the cordial through muslin or a clean jay cloth to remove all sediments.
5. Decant into a clean bottle or reuse a milk carton washed well with boiling water.
It will keep in the fridge for 3 weeks, and is great for drinks, cocktails and baking.