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How to make elderflower cordial

Nothing heralds summer like the scent of elderflowers. Let's gather ye flowerheads while we may and turn them into a delicious elderflower cordial.

Elderflower cordial is perfect with still or sparkling water, great to use in cooking, you can freeze it down for ice lollies or mix it with your favourite tipple. Here’s how to make it.

You need

  • 25 – 30 flower heads. Pick them away from busy roads, preferably on a sunny day.
  • 2 unwaxed lemons (washed and sliced)
  • 50 g citric acid (available from most pharmacists)
  • 2 litres water
  • 2 kg sugar (yes, lots of sugar I’m afraid. You can use less sugar, about 1.5 kg instead of 2 kg, if you freeze the cordial rather than bottle it)


What to do

  • Wash the flower heads or shake them to free any little bugs.
  • Put all the flowers in a large tub or bowl or whatever you have available.
  • Bring the water to the boil in a large saucepan and add the sugar. Stir until it is fully dissolved, add the citric acid and stir again.
  • Pour the hot water over the flowers and add the sliced lemons. Give it all a stir.
  • Cover and leave out to cool down and then place it somewhere cool or in the fridge.
  • After two days remove all the lemons and leave for another four days.
  • Strain through a muslin cloth and freeze in tubs or pour into clean sterilised bottles.
  • Dilute as normal cordial when ready to use.

Many thanks to Maria, festival director of Elderflower Fields (what else?) festival in Sussex, for the recipe.

Find more ideas here

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