Elderflower Cordial

After another gloriously sunny week I wanted to share this recipe.  My girlfriends gave me a book for my birthday full of homemade drinks recipes and I’m working my way through each one with relish.  This week I made Elderflower cordial using flowers from the giant elder bush in the back garden of my new house.

There are elderflowers everywhere at the moment so if you can get your hands on some you should definitely give this recipe a go.

Elderflower Cordial                             (makes about 1 litre)

20 Elderflower heads
3 Lemons
2 Lime
500g Caster Sugar
850ml Boiling Water

Put the sugar into a big pan and pour over the hot water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and leave to cool for about 15 mins. In the meantime, fill a sink with cold water and put your elderflower heads in the water. Gently submerge them to the bottom of the sink and let them float back up – this will wash any dirt away without bruising the flowers. Drain in a colander and then use a pair of scissors to snip the floral sprigs off the stalks. Use a speed peeler to peel the zest from the lemons and lime then slice the fruit. Add the flower sprigs, zest and fruit to the pan and push down into the syrup to make sure everything is incorporated.  Cover the pan with cling film and leave for 24 hours to infuse.  Preferably somewhere cool and dark but in the current weather the fridge might be your best bet!

After 24 hours strain the mix through a tea towel and its ready to use.  This basic cordial will keep in the fridge for around a month but you can also freeze it.

There are loads of ways to serve your cordial:
In a long glass with loads of ice, top up with sparkling water.  Add a slice of fresh lemon and a sprig of mint – the ultimate eldeflower presse.
In a short glass with loads of ice, add a shot of gin and top up with tonic.  Add a wedge of fresh lime – a very British summer aperitif.
Add to a glass of any sparkling wine for a touch of glamour.
Puree fresh strawberries with a drizzle of the cordial and serve over vanilla ice cream.



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