June always brings an abundance of white, frothy elderflowers to our hedgerows. Although I welcome Mayflowers (hawthorn), elderflowers are more delicate and beautifully fragranced.
Part of our annual rhythm involves making elderflower cordial. It’s fun and easy. I always used to make it in time for Lanky Dude’s birthday, to give to the mums of his small friends.
There are numerous recipes on the internet. This is one I’ve developed for us over the years. It’s makse a good quantity, so can easily be halved. Most recipes use more citric acid, as it preserves the cordial. However, I only use a small amount as I decant it into plastic bottles and freeze it. It’s sometimes too sweet, so I just add an extra lemon. I buy citric acid from our chemist.
About 30 elderflower heads
2L boiling water
about 25g citric acid.
Dissolve sugar in boiling water. I generally need to bring it to simmering point. This is a good demonstration of the saturation point of sugar (chemistry); the water is able to hold/dissolve more sugar when heated, than when cool.
Then cut lemons into quarters, squeeze juice into sugar solution and throw in all the skins too. Add all the elderflowers and acid. Cover with a tea towel and leave for two days. Strain and pour into plastic bottles and freeze.
Dilute with tap of fizzy water.