I'm not sure where the lovely Summer weather has disappeared to this week but I would really, really, very much like it back please. It has turned grey and cool here once again, so I am very happy that I was able to make this year's elderflower cordial while the sun was shining.
It was a beautiful sunny day when we walked through the fields gathering the elderflowers from the hedgerows. We, of course, being me and Lily - my partner in crime. I love that she enjoys being outdoors and is more than happy to walk by my side and listen as I ramble on with my very limited plant knowledge.
The gorgeous elderflowers are in abundance at the moment and are so easy to spot with their frothy, creamy-white flower heads. To make cordial they are best freshly picked on a dry day and when the buds have just opened.
Just as I thought, it didn't take long to collect the twenty five flower heads we needed but we continued on our walk regardless, embracing the warm weather, blue skies and fields filled with Buttercups.
On our return home I rinsed the elderflowers to remove any little insects and set about making the cordial. This recipe is my favourite and makes about 1½ litres of cordial. It is so simple to make and once diluted makes for a refreshing drink with, I think, just the perfect balance of citrus and floral notes.
You will need :
1.2 kg granulated sugar
1 unwaxed lemon (zest and slice)
25 freshly picked elderflower heads
40g citric acid
Put the sugar and 750mls water into a pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil then immediately remove from the heat.
Add the citric acid, sliced lemon, zest and elderflower heads and give it a good stir. Leave to infuse for 24hrs.
Line a colander or large sieve with muslin, strain the mixture through, discarding the bits and decant into a sterilised bottle.
It is very concentrated so you don't need much. I find it is most delicious mixed with sparkling spring water but it has been recommended I try it with Prosecco so I will definitely be trying that.
It is a delightful taste of Summer in a glass. A little bit of bottled sunshine.