Elderflower cordial is one of the loveliest and tastiest things to make in June. The flowering season is almost over now but you only need a few handfuls of flower heads to make three or four bottles. We make some every year using glass bottles with clip tops and rubber seals. It is so tasty added to ice cold, still or sparkling water or as a hot cordial in the evening. There are lots of recipes online, many of which add citric acid or use honey instead of sugar. I use this super simple recipe which makes about 2 litres of cordial which can be stored in the fridge or in a dark, cool place for a good few weeks. You can also freeze it if you leave enough room in the bottles for expansion.
To begin with I sterilise 3-4 glass bottles with clip tops and rubber seals in a preheated oven at 130C for 20 minutes. You’ll also need some muslin or a fine sieve and a funnel. Make the cordial as soon as you’ve collected the flower heads as they go brown very quickly.
- 25 to 30 elderflower heads
- 3 lemons and 1 orange
- 1kg sugar
- 2l water
- Remove larger stalks and any little insects from the flower heads
- In a large pan, boil the water and sugar and gently simmer until the sugar is dissolved
- Roughly peel the fruit with a vegetable peeler and add the peel to the pan
- Cut the fruit into slices and add to pan together with the flower heads
- Remove pan from heat, cover and leave for a few hours to infuse – I usually leave it for half a day but you can leave it overnight for a stronger taste
- Strain the liquid through a piece of muslin or very fine sieve
- Use a funnel to pour the syrup into sterilised bottles and seal them.